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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The 2009 CIA World Factbook, by 
United States.  Central Intelligence Agency.

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Title: The 2009 CIA World Factbook

Author: United States.  Central Intelligence Agency.

Release Date: April 11, 2011 [EBook #35829]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE 2009 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK ***




Produced by Al Haines






THE CIA WORLD FACTBOOK 2009




CONTENTS


What's New?

Did You Know?

Guide to Country Profiles

Countries and Locations

Field Listings

Rank Orders

Appendixes

Notes and Definitions

History of the CIA Factbook

Contributors and Copyright Information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)





THE WORLD FACTBOOK :: WHAT'S NEW



November 13, 2009

Recent elections and governmental changes recorded for
Afghanistan, Aruba, Fiji, Germany, Haiti, Marshall Islands,
Mongolia, Tunisia, and Uruguay. In the Economy category, some
20 macro-economic fields have been updated with the latest
data. New NASA space photos added for the Atlantic, Indian,
and Pacific Oceans, as well as for Montserrat and the World;
new ground photos added for Cambodia and France.


October 30, 2009

In the Economy category, all the energy-related fields have
been updated with the latest data; new photos added for
Norway and Poland.


October 14, 2009

In addition to regular informational updates, new photos have
been added for Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Russia, and Sweden.


October 02, 2009

In the Transportation category, updates have been made to the
"Airports" and "Heliports" fields; new photos added for
Libya, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.


September 17, 2009

NASA images taken from space have been introduced to enhance
various country photo presentations. Significant numbers of
high altitude photos appear under China, Egypt, Spain,
Australia, and New Zealand, but can also be found scattered
among other country entries. In the Economy category,
statistics for "Distribution of family income - Gini index,"
"Public debt," and "Debt - external" now include two year's
worth of data.


September 03, 2009

In the Economy category, statistics for "Current Account
Balance," "Exports," "Imports," "Reserves of foreign exchange
and gold," "Stock of direct foreign investment - at home,"
and "Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad" now include
two year's worth of data; statistics for "Market value of
publicly traded shares" now include three year's worth of
data. New photos added for Austria, France, Monaco,
Netherlands, and Netherlands Antilles.


August 17, 2009

Various rail gauge line lengths have been updated for all
countries in the Railways entry; selected economic and
political entries also updated.


July 31, 2009

In the Economy category, statistics for "Central bank
discount rate," "Commercial bank prime lending rate," "Stock
of money," "Stock of quasi money," and "Stock of domestic
credit" now include two year's worth of data.


July 20, 2009

Latest updates include changes to the chief of state or head
of government in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Lithuania,
and Panama. New photographs have been added for Spain,
Portugal, Gibraltar, and South Africa.


July 01, 2009

With the launch of the new Web site, the former "Rank Order"
function was renamed "Country Comparisons." The link to
Country Comparisons may be found under the References tab. In
addition, many of the regional reference maps now incorporate
both elevation and vegetation on landmasses, and bathymetry
for ocean areas. Statistics for "Unemployment rate" and
"Inflation rate (consumer prices)" now include two year's
worth of data.


June 08, 2009

Completely redesigned website - presenting a cleaner look,
improved navigation, and a host of added features - launched
on the World Wide Web. Among the major enhancements are
downloadable and printable photos for nearly 100 countries, a
"Did You Know?" section explaining the impact of the Factbook
around the world, and built-in world rankings for many of the
Factbook information fields. Government sections reflect the
results of recent parliamentary elections in Kuwait - where
women were elected for the first time - and India, as well as
presidential elections in Lithuania, Mongolia, Panama, and
South Africa.


April 27, 2009

Significant updates made to the People and Economy
categories; statistics for "GDP - real growth rate" and "GDP
- per capita" (at purchasing power parity) now include three
year's worth of data, in 2008 dollars. The Urbanization entry
under People expanded to include all countries.


April 03, 2009

In addition to regular country updates, statistics for "GDP
(purchasing power parity)" now include three year's worth of
data, in 2008 dollars.


March 20, 2009

Recent major leadership changes in Guinea-Bissau, Latvia, and
Madagascar included in the Government sections of those
countries.


March 02, 2009

Latest US Census Bureau figures - updating basic demographic
data for all countries - entered into the database. Entries
on religions, languages, ethnic groups, and literacy also
updated.


February 06, 2009

Country information updated across all categories. Economic
data now includes 2008 estimates where available.


November 05, 2008

In order to provide more information on the nature and global
dimensions of the current financial crisis, five additional
fields appended to the Economy category: "Central bank
discount rate," "Commercial bank prime lending rate," "Stock
of money," "Stock of quasi money," and "Stock of domestic
credit."


August 06, 2008

In the People category, two new fields provide information on
education in terms of opportunity and resources: "School Life
Expectancy" and "Education expenditures."


November 06, 2007

In the Geography category, two new fields focus on the vital
resource of water: "Total renewable water resources" and
"Freshwater withdrawal."


October 31, 2007

Three new fields added to the Economy category: "Stock of
direct foreign investment - abroad," "Stock of direct foreign
investment - at home," "Market value of publicly traded
shares."


Ongoing

Revision of some individual country maps, first introduced in
the 2001 edition, continues. Several regional maps have been
updated to reflect boundary changes and place name spelling
changes.



======================================================================



About :: DID YOU KNOW?

The World Factbook is one of the US Government's most accessed
publications.

The World Factbook, produced for US policymakers and coordinated
throughout the US Intelligence Community, presents the basic realities
about the world in which we live. We share these facts with the people
of all nations in the belief that knowledge of the truth underpins the
functioning of free societies.


Who uses The World Factbook?

A wide variety of folks including US Government officials, researchers,
news organizations, corporations, geographers, teachers, professors,
librarians, and students. In short, anyone looking for an expansive
body of international data on a recently updated Web site.


The World Factbook is a one-stop reference site.

Although many of the facts presented in The Factbook may be found in
various other publications, they are conveniently gathered together
in one place only at The World Factbook Web site.


The World Factbook is a unique reference in that it is updated
continuously - on average, every two weeks.

Information in The Factbook is collected from - and coordinated with -
a wide variety of US Government agencies, as well as from hundreds of
published sources.



======================================================================




References :: Guide to Country Profiles


These are the Categories, Fields, and subfields of information
generally recorded for each country. Links are to the Definitions
and Notes about each entry.





Introduction ::



Background:









Geography ::



Location:

Geographic coordinates:

Map references:

Area:

total

land

water

Area - comparative:

Land boundaries:

total

border countries

Coastline:

Maritime claims:

territorial sea

contiguous zone

exclusive economic zone

continental shelf

exclusive fishing zone

Climate:

Terrain:

Elevation extremes:

lowest point

highest point

Natural resources:

Land use:

arable land

permanent crops

other

Irrigated land:

Total Renewable Water Resources:

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total

per capita

Natural hazards:

Environment - current issues:

Environment - international agreements:

party to

signed, but not ratified

Geography - note:









People ::



Population:

Age structure:

0-14 years

15-64 years

65 years and over

Median Age:

total

male

female

Population growth rate:

Birth rate:

Death rate:

Net migration rate:

Sex ratio:

at birth

under 15 years

15-64 years

65 years and over

total population

Infant mortality rate:

total

male

female

Life expectancy at birth:

total population

male

female

Total fertility rate:

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk

food or waterborne diseases

vectorborne diseases

water contact diseases

aerosolized dust or soil contact disease

respiratory disease

animal contact disease

Nationality:

noun

adjective

Ethnic groups:

Religions:

Languages:

Literacy:

definition

total population

male

female

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary):

Education expenditures:

People - note:









Government ::



Country name:

conventional long form

conventional short form

local long form

local short form

former

abbreviation

Dependency status:

Government type:

Capital:

name

geographic coordinates

time difference

daylight saving time

Administrative divisions:

Dependent areas:

Independence:

National holiday:

Constitution:

Legal system:

Suffrage:

Executive branch:

chief of state

head of government

cabinet

elections

election results

Legislative branch:

elections

election results

Judicial branch:

Political parties and leaders:

Political pressure groups and leaders:

International organization participation:

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission

chancery

telephone

FAX

consulate(s) general

consulate(s)

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission

embassy

mailing address

telephone

FAX

consulate(s) general

consulate(s)

branch office(s)

Flag description:

Government - note:









Economy ::



Economy - overview:

GDP (purchasing power parity) :

GDP (official exchange rate) :

GDP - real growth rate:

GDP - per capita (PPP):

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture

industry

services

Labor force:

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture

industry

services

Unemployment rate:

Population below poverty line:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%

highest 10%

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

Investment (gross fixed):

Budget:

revenues

expenditures

Public debt :

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

Central bank discount rate:

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

Stock of money:

Stock of quasi money:

Stock of domestic credit:

Market value of publicly traded shares:

Agriculture - products:

Industries:

Industrial production growth rate:

Electricity - production:

Electricity - consumption:

Electricity - exports:

Electricity - imports:

Oil - production:

Oil - consumption:

Oil - exports:

Oil - imports:

Oil - proved reserves:

Natural gas - production:

Natural gas - consumption:

Natural gas - exports:

Natural gas - imports:

Natural gas - proved reserves:

Current account balance:

Exports:

Exports - commodities:

Exports - partners:

Imports:

Imports - commodities:

Imports - partners:

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

Debt - external:

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

Exchange rates:









Communications ::



Telephones - main lines in use:

Telephones - mobile cellular:

Telephone system:

general assessment

domestic

international

Radio broadcast stations:

Television broadcast stations:

Internet country code:

Internet hosts :

Internet users:

Communications - note:









Transportation ::



Airports:

Airports - with paved runways:

total

over 3,047 m

2,438 to 3,047 m

1,524 to 2,437 m

914 to 1,530 m

under 914 m

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total

over 3,047 m

2,438 to 3,047 m

1,524 to 2,437 m

914 to 1,530 m

under 914 m

Heliports:

Pipelines:

Railways:

total

broad gauge

standard gauge

narrow gauge

dual gauge

Roadways:

total

paved

unpaved

Waterways:

Merchant marine:

total

ships by type

foreign-owned

registered in other countries

Ports and terminals :

Transportation - note:








Military ::



Military branches:

Military service age and obligation :

Manpower available for military service :

males age 16-49

females age 16-49

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49

females age 16-49

Manpower reaching military age annually:

males

females

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:

Military - note:









Transnational Issues ::



Disputes - international:

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees

IDPs

Trafficking in persons:

current situation

tier rating

Illicit drugs:



======================================================================



The World Factbook (2009) - Country Listing


[Transcriber's note: To search on a country in this file, prefix the
country's name with "@", e.g. "@Afghanistan".  "Afghanistan" will find
all occurrences; prefixing it with "@" will find the correct location.]



World



A

Afghanistan
Akrotiri
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Andorra
Angola
Anguilla
Antarctica
Antigua and Barbuda
Arctic Ocean
Argentina
Armenia
Aruba
Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Atlantic Ocean
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan



B

Bahamas, The
Bahrain
Baker Island
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bermuda
Bhutan
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Bouvet Island
Brazil
British Indian Ocean Territory
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Burma
Burundi



C

Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Central African Republic
Chad
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Clipperton Island
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Colombia
Comoros
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Republic of the
Cook Islands
Coral Sea Islands
Costa Rica
Cote d'Ivoire
Croatia
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic



D

Denmark
Dhekelia
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic



E

Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia



F

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Faroe Islands
Fiji
Finland
France
French Polynesia
French Southern and Antarctic Lands



G

Gabon
Gambia, The
Gaza Strip
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guam
Guatemala
Guernsey
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana



H

Haiti
Heard Island and McDonald Islands
Holy See (Vatican City)
Honduras
Hong Kong
Howland Island
Hungary



I

Iceland
India
Indian Ocean
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Isle of Man
Israel
Italy



J

Jamaica
Jan Mayen
Japan
Jarvis Island
Jersey
Johnston Atoll
Jordan



K

Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kingman Reef
Kiribati
Korea, North
Korea, South
Kosovo
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan



L

Laos
Latvia
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg



M

Macau
Macedonia
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Micronesia, Federated States of
Midway Islands
Moldova
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique



N

Namibia
Nauru
Navassa Island
Nepal
Netherlands
Netherlands Antilles
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Mariana Islands
Norway



O

Oman



P

Pacific Ocean
Pakistan
Palau
Palmyra Atoll
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paracel Islands
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Islands
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico



Q

Qatar



R

Romania
Russia
Rwanda



S

Saint Barthelemy
Saint Helena
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Martin
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Samoa
San Marino
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Serbia
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
Southern Ocean
Spain
Spratly Islands
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Suriname
Svalbard
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria



T

Tajikistan
Tanzania
Thailand
Timor-Leste
Togo
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Turks and Caicos Islands
Tuvalu



U

Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges
Uruguay
Uzbekistan



V

Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Virgin Islands



W

Wake Island
Wallis and Futuna
West Bank
Western Sahara



Y

Yemen



Z

Zambia
Zimbabwe



T

Taiwan



E

European Union





Field Listings


[Transcriber's note: To search on a field code in this file, prefix
the code number with "@", e.g. "@2001".  "2001" will find all
occurrences; prefixing it with "@" will find the correct location.]



Code    Field Description

2001    GDP (purchasing power parity)
2002    Population growth rate
2003    GDP - real growth rate
2004    GDP - per capita (PPP)
2005    Affiliation
2006    Dependency status
2007    Diplomatic representation from the US
2008    Transportation - note
2010    Age structure
2011    Geographic coordinates
2012    GDP - composition by sector
2013    Radio broadcast stations
2014    Radios
2015    Television broadcast stations
2016    Televisions
2018    Sex ratio
2019    Heliports
2020    Elevation extremes
2021    Natural hazards
2022    People - note
2023    Area - comparative
2024    Military service age and obligation
2025    Manpower fit for military service
2026    Manpower reaching militarily significant age
2028    Background
2030    Airports - with paved runways
2031    Airports - with unpaved runways
2032    Environment - current issues
2033    Environment - international agreements
2034    Military expenditures
2038    Electricity - production
2042    Electricity - consumption
2043    Electricity - imports
2044    Electricity - exports
2045    Electricity - production by source
2046    Population below poverty line
2047    Household income or consumption by percentage share
2048    Labor force - by occupation
2049    Exports - commodities
2050    Exports - partners
2051    Administrative divisions
2052    Agriculture - products
2053    Airports
2054    Birth rate
2055    Military branches
2056    Budget
2057    Capital
2058    Imports - commodities
2059    Climate
2060    Coastline
2061    Imports - partners
2062    Economic aid - donor
2063    Constitution
2064    Economic aid - recipient
2065    Currency (code)
2066    Death rate
2068    Dependent areas
2070    Disputes - international
2075    Ethnic groups
2076    Exchange rates
2077    Executive branch
2078    Exports
2079    Debt - external
2080    Fiscal year
2081    Flag description
2085    Roadways
2086    Illicit drugs
2087    Imports
2088    Independence
2089    Industrial production growth rate
2090    Industries
2091    Infant mortality rate
2092    Inflation rate (consumer prices)
2093    Waterways
2094    Judicial branch
2095    Labor force
2096    Land boundaries
2097    Land use
2098    Languages
2100    Legal system
2101    Legislative branch
2102    Life expectancy at birth
2103    Literacy
2105    Manpower available for military service
2106    Maritime claims
2107    International organization participation
2108    Merchant marine
2109    National holiday
2110    Nationality
2111    Natural resources
2112    Net migration rate
2113    Geography - note
2115    Political pressure groups and leaders
2116    Economy - overview
2117    Pipelines
2118    Political parties and leaders
2119    Population
2120    Ports and terminals
2121    Railways
2122    Religions
2123    Suffrage
2124    Telephone system
2125    Terrain
2127    Total fertility rate
2128    Government type
2129    Unemployment rate
2137    Military - note
2138    Communications - note
2140    Government - note
2141    Group
2142    Country name
2144    Location
2145    Map references
2146    Irrigated land
2147    Area
2149    Diplomatic representation in the US
2150    Telephones - main lines in use
2151    Telephones - mobile cellular
2152    Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
2153    Internet users
2154    Internet country code
2155    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
2156    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
2157    HIV/AIDS - deaths
2158    Currency code
2172    Distribution of family income - Gini index
2173    Oil - production
2174    Oil - consumption
2175    Oil - imports
2176    Oil - exports
2177    Median age
2178    Oil - proved reserves
2179    Natural gas - proved reserves
2180    Natural gas - production
2181    Natural gas - consumption
2182    Natural gas - imports
2183    Natural gas - exports
2184    Internet hosts
2185    Investment (gross fixed)
2186    Public debt
2187    Current account balance
2188    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
2189    Union name
2190    Political structure
2191    Member states
2192    Preliminary statement
2193    Major infectious diseases
2194    Refugees and internally displaced persons
2195    GDP (official exchange rate)
2196    Trafficking in persons
2198    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
2199    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
2200    Market value of publicly traded shares
2201    Total renewable water resources
2202    Freshwater withdrawal
2203    Geographic overview
2204    Economy of the area administered by Turkish Cypriots
2205    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary
2206    Education expenditures
2207    Central bank discount rate
2208    Commercial bank prime lending rate
2209    Stock of money
2210    Stock of quasi money
2211    Stock of domestic credit
2212    Urbanization



======================================================================



References :: Guide to Country Comparisons


[Transcriber's note: To search on a rank order in this file, prefix
the rank's name with "@", e.g. "@Population".  "Population" will find
all occurrences; prefixing it with "@" will find the correct location.]





Country Comparison pages are presorted lists of data from selected
Factbook data fields. Country Comparison pages are generally given
in descending order - highest to lowest - such as Population and
Area. The two exceptions are Unemployment Rate and Inflation Rate,
which are in ascending - lowest to highest - order. Country
Comparison pages are available for the following 58 fields in six of
the nine Factbook categories.






Geography ::



Area:

total










People ::



Population:

Population growth rate:

Birth rate:

Death rate:

Net migration rate:

Infant mortality rate:

Life expectancy at birth:

Total fertility rate:

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

Education expenditures:











Economy ::



GDP (purchasing power parity):

GDP real growth rate:

GDP - per capita (PPP):

Labor force:

Unemployment rate:

Distribution of family income - Gini Index:

Investment (gross fixed):

Public debt:

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

Central bank discount rate:

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

Stock of money:

Stock of quasi money:

Stock of domestic credit:

Market value of publicly traded shares:

Industrial production growth rate:

Electricity - production:

Electricity - consumption:

Oil - production:

Oil - consumption:

Oil - exports:

Oil - imports:

Oil - proved reserves:

Natural gas - production:

Natural gas - consumption:

Natural gas - exports:

Natural gas - imports:

Natural gas - proved reserves:

Current account balance:

Exports:

Imports:

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

Debt - external:

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:










Communications ::



Telephones - main lines in use:

Telephones - mobile cellular:

Internet hosts:

Internet users:










Transportation ::



Airports:

Railways:

total

Roadways:

total

Waterways:

Merchant marine:

total









Military ::



Military expenditures - percent of GDP:








Not all Country Comparisons include the same number of entries
because information for a particular field is not available for all
countries. In addition, not all data fields are suitable for
displaying as Country Comparisons, such as those containing textual
information. Textual information is more readily viewed by clicking
on the Field Listing icon next to the Data field title.



All of the Country Comparisons' pages can be downloaded as
tab-delimited data files and can be opened in other applications
such as spreadsheets and databases. To save a Country Comparisons
page in a spreadsheet, first click on the 'Download Datafile' choice
above the Country Comparisons page you selected; then, at the top of
your browser window, click on 'File' and 'Save As'. After saving the
file, open the spreadsheet, find the saved file, and 'Open' it.



======================================================================



Appendixes


Appendix A - Abbreviations

Appendix B - International Organizations and Groups

Appendix C - Selected International Environmental Agreements

Appendix D - Cross-Reference list of Country Data Codes

Appendix E - Cross-Reference List of Hydrographic Data Codes

Appendix F - Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names

Appendix G - Weights and Measures


======================================================================



References :: Definitions and Notes


A


Abbreviations

This information is included in Appendix A: Abbreviations, which
includes all abbreviations and acronyms used in the Factbook, with
their expansions.


Acronyms

An acronym is an abbreviation coined from the initial letter of each
successive word in a term or phrase. In general, an acronym made up
solely from the first letter of the major words in the expanded form
is rendered in all capital letters (NATO from North Atlantic Treaty
Organization; an exception would be ASEAN for Association of
Southeast Asian Nations). In general, an acronym made up of more
than the first letter of the major words in the expanded form is
rendered with only an initial capital letter (Comsat from
Communications Satellite Corporation; an exception would be NAM from
Nonaligned Movement). Hybrid forms are sometimes used to distinguish
between initially identical terms (ICC for International Chamber of
Commerce and ICCt for International Criminal Court).

Administrative divisions

This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and
first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on
Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet
acted on by the BGN are noted.

Age structure

This entry provides the distribution of the population according to
age. Information is included by sex and age group (0-14 years, 15-64
years, 65 years and over). The age structure of a population affects
a nation's key socioeconomic issues. Countries with young
populations (high percentage under age 15) need to invest more in
schools, while countries with older populations (high percentage
ages 65 and over) need to invest more in the health sector. The age
structure can also be used to help predict potential political
issues. For example, the rapid growth of a young adult population
unable to find employment can lead to unrest.

Agriculture - products

This entry is an ordered listing of major crops and products
starting with the most important.

Airports

This entry gives the total number of airports or airfields
recognizable from the air. The runway(s) may be paved (concrete or
asphalt surfaces) or unpaved (grass, earth, sand, or gravel
surfaces) and may include closed or abandoned installations.
Airports or airfields that are no longer recognizable (overgrown, no
facilities, etc.) are not included. Note that not all airports have
accommodations for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control.

Airports - with paved runways

This entry gives the total number of airports with paved runways
(concrete or asphalt surfaces) by length. For airports with more
than one runway, only the longest runway is included according to
the following five groups - (1) over 3,047 m (over 10,000 ft), (2)
2,438 to 3,047 m (8,000 to 10,000 ft), (3) 1,524 to 2,437 m (5,000
to 8,000 ft), (4) 914 to 1,523 m (3,000 to 5,000 ft), and (5) under
914 m (under 3,000 ft). Only airports with usable runways are
included in this listing. Not all airports have facilities for
refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control. The type aircraft
capable of operating from a runway of a given length is dependent
upon a number of factors including elevation of the runway, runway
gradient, average maximum daily temperature at the airport, engine
types, flap settings, and take-off weight of the aircraft.

Airports - with unpaved runways

This entry gives the total number of airports with unpaved runways
(grass, dirt, sand, or gravel surfaces) by length. For airports with
more than one runway, only the longest runway is included according
to the following five groups - (1) over 3,047 m (over 10,000 ft),
(2) 2,438 to 3,047 m (8,000 to 10,000 ft), (3) 1,524 to 2,437 m
(5,000 to 8,000 ft), (4) 914 to 1,523 m (3,000 to 5,000 ft), and (5)
under 914 m (under 3,000 ft). Only airports with usable runways are
included in this listing. Not all airports have facilities for
refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control. The type aircraft
capable of operating from a runway of a given length is dependent
upon a number of factors including elevation of the runway, runway
gradient, average maximum daily temperature at the airport, engine
types, flap settings, and take-off weight of the aircraft.


Appendixes

This section includes Factbook-related material by topic.

Area

This entry includes three subfields. Total area is the sum of all
land and water areas delimited by international boundaries and/or
coastlines. Land area is the aggregate of all surfaces delimited by
international boundaries and/or coastlines, excluding inland water
bodies (lakes, reservoirs, rivers). Water area is the sum of the
surfaces of all inland water bodies, such as lakes, reservoirs, or
rivers, as delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines.

Area - comparative

This entry provides an area comparison based on total area
equivalents. Most entities are compared with the entire US or one of
the 50 states based on area measurements (1990 revised) provided by
the US Bureau of the Census. The smaller entities are compared with
Washington, DC (178 sq km, 69 sq mi) or The Mall in Washington, DC
(0.59 sq km, 0.23 sq mi, 146 acres).

B



Background

This entry usually highlights major historic events and current
issues and may include a statement about one or two key future
trends.

Birth rate

This entry gives the average annual number of births during a year
per 1,000 persons in the population at midyear; also known as crude
birth rate. The birth rate is usually the dominant factor in
determining the rate of population growth. It depends on both the
level of fertility and the age structure of the population.

Budget

This entry includes revenues, expenditures, and capital
expenditures. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate
basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.

C



Capital

This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic
coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal
Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if
applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where
appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those
countries that have multiple time zones.

Central bank discount rate

This entry provides the annualized interest rate a country's central
bank charges commercial, depository banks for loans to meet
temporary shortages of funds.

Climate

This entry includes a brief description of typical weather regimes
throughout the year.

Coastline

This entry gives the total length of the boundary between the land
area (including islands) and the sea.

Commercial bank prime lending rate

This entry provides a simple average of annualized interest rates
commercial banks charge on new loans, denominated in the national
currency, to their most credit-worthy customers.


Communications

This category deals with the means of exchanging information and
includes the telephone, radio, television, and Internet host entries.

Communications - note

This entry includes miscellaneous communications information of
significance not included elsewhere.

Constitution

This entry includes the dates of adoption, revisions, and major
amendments.


Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)

UTC is the international atomic time scale that serves as the basis
of timekeeping for most of the world. The hours, minutes, and
seconds expressed by UTC represent the time of day at the Prime
Meridian (0 deg. longitude) located near Greenwich, England as reckoned
from midnight. UTC is calculated by the Bureau International des
Poids et Measures (BIPM) in Sevres, France. The BIPM averages data
collected from more than 200 atomic time and frequency standards
located at about 50 laboratories worldwide. UTC is the basis for all
civil time with the Earth divided into time zones expressed as
positive or negative differences from UTC. UTC is also referred to
as "Zulu time." See the Standard Time Zones of the World map
included with the Reference Maps.


Country data codes

See Data codes.


Country map

Most versions of the Factbook provide a country map in color. The
maps were produced from the best information available at the time
of preparation. Names and/or boundaries may have changed
subsequently.

Country name

This entry includes all forms of the country's name approved by the
US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example):
conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form
(Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form
(Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation.
Also see the Terminology note.


Crude oil

See entry for oil.

Current account balance

This entry records a country's net trade in goods and services, plus
net earnings from rents, interest, profits, and dividends, and net
transfer payments (such as pension funds and worker remittances) to
and from the rest of the world during the period specified. These
figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in
purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.

D


Data codes

This information is presented in This information is presented in <a
href = "../appendix/appendix-d.html"Appendix D: Cross-Reference List
of Country Data Codes and and <a href =
"../appendix/appendix-e.html" Appendix E: Cross-Reference List of
Hydrographic Data Codes.


Date of information

In general, information available as of 1 January 2007 was used in
the preparation of this edition.


Daylight Saving Time (DST)

This entry is included for those entities that have adopted a policy
of adjusting the official local time forward, usually one hour, from
Standard Time during summer months. Such policies are most common in
mid-latitude regions.

Death rate

This entry gives the average annual number of deaths during a year
per 1,000 population at midyear; also known as crude death rate. The
death rate, while only a rough indicator of the mortality situation
in a country, accurately indicates the current mortality impact on
population growth. This indicator is significantly affected by age
distribution, and most countries will eventually show a rise in the
overall death rate, in spite of continued decline in mortality at
all ages, as declining fertility results in an aging population.

Debt - external

This entry gives the total public and private debt owed to
nonresidents repayable in foreign currency, goods, or services.
These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in
purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.

Dependency status

This entry describes the formal relationship between a particular
nonindependent entity and an independent state.

Dependent areas

This entry contains an alphabetical listing of all nonindependent
entities associated in some way with a particular independent state.


Diplomatic representation

The US Government has diplomatic relations with 189 independent
states, including 187 of the 192 UN members (excluded UN members are
Bhutan, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and the US itself). In addition,
the US has diplomatic relations with 2 independent states that are
not in the UN, the Holy See and Kosovo, as well as with the EU.

Diplomatic representation from the US

This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing
address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations,
consulate general locations, and consulate locations.

Diplomatic representation in the US

This entry includes the chief of mission, chancery, telephone, FAX,
consulate general locations, and consulate locations.

Disputes - international

This entry includes a wide variety of situations that range from
traditional bilateral boundary disputes to unilateral claims of one
sort or another. Information regarding disputes over international
terrestrial and maritime boundaries has been reviewed by the US
Department of State. References to other situations involving
borders or frontiers may also be included, such as resource
disputes, geopolitical questions, or irredentist issues; however,
inclusion does not necessarily constitute official acceptance or
recognition by the US Government.

Distribution of family income - Gini index

This index measures the degree of inequality in the distribution of
family income in a country. The index is calculated from the Lorenz
curve, in which cumulative family income is plotted against the
number of families arranged from the poorest to the richest. The
index is the ratio of (a) the area between a country's Lorenz curve
and the 45 degree helping line to (b) the entire triangular area
under the 45 degree line. The more nearly equal a country's income
distribution, the closer its Lorenz curve to the 45 degree line and
the lower its Gini index, e.g., a Scandinavian country with an index
of 25. The more unequal a country's income distribution, the farther
its Lorenz curve from the 45 degree line and the higher its Gini
index, e.g., a Sub-Saharan country with an index of 50. If income
were distributed with perfect equality, the Lorenz curve would
coincide with the 45 degree line and the index would be zero; if
income were distributed with perfect inequality, the Lorenz curve
would coincide with the horizontal axis and the right vertical axis
and the index would be 100.

E


Economy

This category includes the entries dealing with the size,
development, and management of productive resources, i.e., land,
labor, and capital.

Economy - overview

This entry briefly describes the type of economy, including the
degree of market orientation, the level of economic development, the
most important natural resources, and the unique areas of
specialization. It also characterizes major economic events and
policy changes in the most recent 12 months and may include a
statement about one or two key future macroeconomic trends.

Education expenditures

This entry provides the public expenditure on education as a percent
of GDP.

Electricity - consumption

This entry consists of total electricity generated annually plus
imports and minus exports, expressed in kilowatt-hours. The
discrepancy between the amount of electricity generated and/or
imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is accounted for as
loss in transmission and distribution.

Electricity - exports

This entry is the total exported electricity in kilowatt-hours.

Electricity - imports

This entry is the total imported electricity in kilowatt-hours.

Electricity - production

This entry is the annual electricity generated expressed in
kilowatt-hours. The discrepancy between the amount of electricity
generated and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is
accounted for as loss in transmission and distribution.

Elevation extremes

This entry includes both the highest point and the lowest point.


Entities

Some of the independent states, dependencies, areas of special
sovereignty, and governments included in this publication are not
independent, and others are not officially recognized by the US
Government. "Independent state" refers to a people politically
organized into a sovereign state with a definite territory.
"Dependencies" and "areas of special sovereignty" refer to a broad
category of political entities that are associated in some way with
an independent state. "Country" names used in the table of contents
or for page headings are usually the short-form names as approved by
the US Board on Geographic Names and may include independent states,
dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty, or other geographic
entities. There are a total of 266 separate geographic entities in
The World Factbook that may be categorized as follows:
INDEPENDENT STATES
194 Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and
Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, The
Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize,
Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil,
Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon,
Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China,
Colombia, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the
Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech
Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador,
Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia,
Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana,
Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti,
Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq,
Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya,
Kiribati, North Korea, South Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan,
Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein,
Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia,
Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius,
Mexico, Federated States of Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia,
Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands,
NZ, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau,
Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland,
Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis,
Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino,
Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles,
Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands,
Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland,
Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand,
Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey,
Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, UAE, UK, US, Uruguay,
Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
OTHER
2 Taiwan, European Union
DEPENDENCIES AND AREAS OF SPECIAL SOVEREIGNTY
6 Australia - Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos
(Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald
Islands, Norfolk Island
2 China - Hong Kong, Macau
2 Denmark - Faroe Islands, Greenland
9 France - Clipperton Island, French Polynesia, French Southern and
Antarctic Lands, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Saint Barthelemy, Saint
Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna
2 Netherlands - Aruba, Netherlands Antilles
3 New Zealand - Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau
3 Norway - Bouvet Island, Jan Mayen, Svalbard
17 UK - Akrotiri, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory,
British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dhekelia, Falkland Islands,
Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Montserrat, Pitcairn
Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands,
Turks and Caicos Islands
14 US - American Samoa, Baker Island*, Guam, Howland Island*, Jarvis
Island*, Johnston Atoll*, Kingman Reef*, Midway Islands*, Navassa
Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll*, Puerto Rico,
Virgin Islands, Wake Island (* consolidated in United States Pacific
Island Wildlife Refuges entry)
MISCELLANEOUS
6 Antarctica, Gaza Strip, Paracel Islands, Spratly Islands, West
Bank, Western Sahara
OTHER ENTITIES
5 oceans - Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific
Ocean, Southern Ocean
1 World
266 total

Environment - current issues

This entry lists the most pressing and important environmental
problems. The following terms and abbreviations are used throughout
the entry:
Acidification - the lowering of soil and water pH due to acid
precipitation and deposition usually through precipitation; this
process disrupts ecosystem nutrient flows and may kill freshwater
fish and plants dependent on more neutral or alkaline conditions
(see acid rain).
Acid rain - characterized as containing harmful levels of sulfur
dioxide or nitrogen oxide; acid rain is damaging and potentially
deadly to the earth's fragile ecosystems; acidity is measured using
the pH scale where 7 is neutral, values greater than 7 are
considered alkaline, and values below 5.6 are considered acid
precipitation; note - a pH of 2.4 (the acidity of vinegar) has been
measured in rainfall in New England.
Aerosol - a collection of airborne particles dispersed in a gas,
smoke, or fog.
Afforestation - converting a bare or agricultural space by planting
trees and plants; reforestation involves replanting trees on areas
that have been cut or destroyed by fire.
Asbestos - a naturally occurring soft fibrous mineral commonly used
in fireproofing materials and considered to be highly carcinogenic
in particulate form.
Biodiversity - also biological diversity; the relative number of
species, diverse in form and function, at the genetic, organism,
community, and ecosystem level; loss of biodiversity reduces an
ecosystem's ability to recover from natural or man-induced
disruption.
Bio-indicators - a plant or animal species whose presence,
abundance, and health reveal the general condition of its habitat.
Biomass - the total weight or volume of living matter in a given
area or volume.
Carbon cycle - the term used to describe the exchange of carbon (in
various forms, e.g., as carbon dioxide) between the atmosphere,
ocean, terrestrial biosphere, and geological deposits.
Catchments - assemblages used to capture and retain rainwater and
runoff; an important water management technique in areas with
limited freshwater resources, such as Gibraltar.
DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloro-ethane) - a colorless, odorless
insecticide that has toxic effects on most animals; the use of DDT
was banned in the US in 1972.
Defoliants - chemicals which cause plants to lose their leaves
artificially; often used in agricultural practices for weed control,
and may have detrimental impacts on human and ecosystem health.
Deforestation - the destruction of vast areas of forest (e.g.,
unsustainable forestry practices, agricultural and range land
clearing, and the over exploitation of wood products for use as
fuel) without planting new growth.
Desertification - the spread of desert-like conditions in arid or
semi-arid areas, due to overgrazing, loss of agriculturally
productive soils, or climate change.
Dredging - the practice of deepening an existing waterway; also, a
technique used for collecting bottom-dwelling marine organisms
(e.g., shellfish) or harvesting coral, often causing significant
destruction of reef and ocean-floor ecosystems.
Drift-net fishing - done with a net, miles in extent, that is
generally anchored to a boat and left to float with the tide; often
results in an over harvesting and waste of large populations of
non-commercial marine species (by-catch) by its effect of "sweeping
the ocean clean."
Ecosystems - ecological units comprised of complex communities of
organisms and their specific environments.
Effluents - waste materials, such as smoke, sewage, or industrial
waste which are released into the environment, subsequently
polluting it.
Endangered species - a species that is threatened with extinction
either by direct hunting or habitat destruction.
Freshwater - water with very low soluble mineral content; sources
include lakes, streams, rivers, glaciers, and underground aquifers.
Greenhouse gas - a gas that "traps" infrared radiation in the lower
atmosphere causing surface warming; water vapor, carbon dioxide,
nitrous oxide, methane, hydrofluorocarbons, and ozone are the
primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere.
Groundwater - water sources found below the surface of the earth
often in naturally occurring reservoirs in permeable rock strata;
the source for wells and natural springs.
Highlands Water Project - a series of dams constructed jointly by
Lesotho and South Africa to redirect Lesotho's abundant water supply
into a rapidly growing area in South Africa; while it is the largest
infrastructure project in southern Africa, it is also the most
costly and controversial; objections to the project include claims
that it forces people from their homes, submerges farmlands, and
squanders economic resources.
Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) - represents the 145,000 Inuits
of Russia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland in international
environmental issues; a General Assembly convenes every three years
to determine the focus of the ICC; the most current concerns are
long-range transport of pollutants, sustainable development, and
climate change.
Metallurgical plants - industries which specialize in the science,
technology, and processing of metals; these plants produce highly
concentrated and toxic wastes which can contribute to pollution of
ground water and air when not properly disposed.
Noxious substances - injurious, very harmful to living beings.
Overgrazing - the grazing of animals on plant material faster than
it can naturally regrow leading to the permanent loss of plant
cover, a common effect of too many animals grazing limited range
land.
Ozone shield - a layer of the atmosphere composed of ozone gas (O3)
that resides approximately 25 miles above the Earth's surface and
absorbs solar ultraviolet radiation that can be harmful to living
organisms.
Poaching - the illegal killing of animals or fish, a great concern
with respect to endangered or threatened species.
Pollution - the contamination of a healthy environment by man-made
waste.
Potable water - water that is drinkable, safe to be consumed.
Salination - the process through which fresh (drinkable) water
becomes salt (undrinkable) water; hence, desalination is the reverse
process; also involves the accumulation of salts in topsoil caused
by evaporation of excessive irrigation water, a process that can
eventually render soil incapable of supporting crops.
Siltation - occurs when water channels and reservoirs become clotted
with silt and mud, a side effect of deforestation and soil erosion.
Slash-and-burn agriculture - a rotating cultivation technique in
which trees are cut down and burned in order to clear land for
temporary agriculture; the land is used until its productivity
declines at which point a new plot is selected and the process
repeats; this practice is sustainable while population levels are
low and time is permitted for regrowth of natural vegetation;
conversely, where these conditions do not exist, the practice can
have disastrous consequences for the environment.
Soil degradation - damage to the land's productive capacity because
of poor agricultural practices such as the excessive use of
pesticides or fertilizers, soil compaction from heavy equipment, or
erosion of topsoil, eventually resulting in reduced ability to
produce agricultural products.
Soil erosion - the removal of soil by the action of water or wind,
compounded by poor agricultural practices, deforestation,
overgrazing, and desertification.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation - a portion of the electromagnetic energy
emitted by the sun and naturally filtered in the upper atmosphere by
the ozone layer; UV radiation can be harmful to living organisms and
has been linked to increasing rates of skin cancer in humans.
Waterborne diseases - those in which bacteria survive in, and are
transmitted through, water; always a serious threat in areas with an
untreated water supply.

Environment - international agreements

This entry separates country participation in international
environmental agreements into two levels - party to and signed, but
not ratified. Agreements are listed in alphabetical order by the
abbreviated form of the full name.


Environmental agreements

This information is presented in This information is presented in <a
href = "../appendix/appendix-c.html"Appendix C: Selected
International Environmental Agreements, which includes the name,
abbreviation, date opened for signature, date entered into force,
objective, and parties by category.

Ethnic groups

This entry provides an ordered listing of ethnic groups starting
with the largest and normally includes the percent of total
population.

Exchange rates

This entry provides the official value of a country's monetary unit
at a given date or over a given period of time, as expressed in
units of local currency per US dollar and as determined by
international market forces or official fiat. The International
Organization for Standardization (ISO) 4217 alphabetic currency code
for the national medium of exchange is presented in parenthesis.

Executive branch

This entry includes several subfields. Chief of state includes the
name and title of the titular leader of the country who represents
the state at official and ceremonial functions but may not be
involved with the day-to-day activities of the government. Head of
government includes the name and title of the top administrative
leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the
government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of
state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US,
the president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
Cabinet includes the official name for this body of high-ranking
advisers and the method for selection of members. Elections includes
the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the
last election, and date of the next election. Election results
includes the percent of vote for each candidate in the last election.

Exports

This entry provides the total US dollar amount of merchandise
exports on an f.o.b. (free on board) basis. These figures are
calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power
parity (PPP) terms.

Exports - commodities

This entry provides a listing of the highest-valued exported
products; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value.

Exports - partners

This entry provides a rank ordering of trading partners starting
with the most important; it sometimes includes the percent of total
dollar value.

F



Flag description

This entry provides a written flag description produced from actual
flags or the best information available at the time the entry was
written. The flags of independent states are used by their
dependencies unless there is an officially recognized local flag.
Some disputed and other areas do not have flags.


Flag graphic

Most versions of the Factbook include a color flag at the beginning
of the country profile. The flag graphics were produced from actual
flags or the best information available at the time of preparation.
The flags of independent states are used by their dependencies
unless there is an officially recognized local flag. Some disputed
and other areas do not have flags.

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

This entry provides the annual quantity of water in cubic kilometers
removed from available sources for use in any purpose. Water
drawn-off is not necessarily entirely consumed and some portion may
be returned for further use downstream. Domestic sector use refers
to water supplied by public distribution systems. Note that some of
this total may be used for small industrial and/or limited
agricultural purposes. Industrial sector use is the quantity of
water used by self-supplied industries not connected to a public
distribution system. Agricultural sector use includes water used for
irrigation and livestock watering, and does not account for
agriculture directly dependent on rainfall. Included are figures for
total annual water withdrawal and per capita water withdrawal.

G



GDP (official exchange rate)

This entry gives the gross domestic product (GDP) or value of all
final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. A
nation's GDP at official exchange rates (OER) is the
home-currency-denominated annual GDP figure divided by the bilateral
average US exchange rate with that country in that year. The measure
is simple to compute and gives a precise measure of the value of
output. Many economists prefer this measure when gauging the
economic power an economy maintains vis-a-vis its neighbors, judging
that an exchange rate captures the purchasing power a nation enjoys
in the international marketplace. Official exchange rates, however,
can be artificially fixed and/or subject to manipulation - resulting
in claims of the country having an under- or over-valued currency -
and are not necessarily the equivalent of a market-determined
exchange rate. Moreover, even if the official exchange rate is
market-determined, market exchange rates are frequently established
by a relatively small set of goods and services (the ones the
country trades) and may not capture the value of the larger set of
goods the country produces. Furthermore, OER-converted GDP is not
well suited to comparing domestic GDP over time, since
appreciation/depreciation from one year to the next will make the
OER GDP value rise/fall regardless of whether
home-currency-denominated GDP changed.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

This entry gives the gross domestic product (GDP) or value of all
final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. A
nation's GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates is the
sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued
at prices prevailing in the United States. This is the measure most
economists prefer when looking at per-capita welfare and when
comparing living conditions or use of resources across countries.
The measure is difficult to compute, as a US dollar value has to be
assigned to all goods and services in the country regardless of
whether these goods and services have a direct equivalent in the
United States (for example, the value of an ox-cart or non-US
military equipment); as a result, PPP estimates for some countries
are based on a small and sometimes different set of goods and
services. In addition, many countries do not formally participate in
the World Bank's PPP project that calculates these measures, so the
resulting GDP estimates for these countries may lack precision. For
many developing countries, PPP-based GDP measures are multiples of
the official exchange rate (OER) measure. The differences between
the OER- and PPP-denominated GDP values for most of the wealthy
industrialized countries are generally much smaller.

GDP - composition by sector

This entry gives the percentage contribution of agriculture,
industry, and services to total GDP. The distribution will total
less than 100 percent if the data are incomplete.

GDP - per capita (PPP)

This entry shows GDP on a purchasing power parity basis divided by
population as of 1 July for the same year.

GDP - real growth rate

This entry gives GDP growth on an annual basis adjusted for
inflation and expressed as a percent.


GDP methodology

In the Economy category, GDP dollar estimates for countries are
reported both on an official exchange rate (OER) and a purchasing
power parity (PPP) basis. Both measures contain information that is
useful to the reader. The PPP method involves the use of
standardized international dollar price weights, which are applied
to the quantities of final goods and services produced in a given
economy. The data derived from the PPP method probably provide the
best available starting point for comparisons of economic strength
and well-being between countries. In contrast, the currency exchange
rate method involves a variety of international and domestic
financial forces that may not capture the value of domestic output.
Whereas PPP estimates for OECD countries are quite reliable, PPP
estimates for developing countries are often rough approximations.
In developing countries with weak currencies, the exchange rate
estimate of GDP in dollars is typically one-fourth to one-half the
PPP estimate. Most of the GDP estimates for developing countries are
based on extrapolation of PPP numbers published by the UN
International Comparison Program (UNICP) and by Professors Robert
Summers and Alan Heston of the University of Pennsylvania and their
colleagues. GDP derived using the OER method should be used for the
purpose of calculating the share of items such as exports, imports,
military expenditures, external debt, or the current account
balance, because the dollar values presented in the Factbook for
these items have been converted at official exchange rates, not at
PPP. One should use the OER GDP figure to calculate the proportion
of, say, Chinese defense expenditures in GDP, because that share
will be the same as one calculated in local currency units.
Comparison of OER GDP with PPP GDP may also indicate whether a
currency is over- or under-valued. If OER GDP is smaller than PPP
GDP, the official exchange rate may be undervalued, and vice versa.
However, there is no strong historical evidence that market exchange
rates move in the direction implied by the PPP rate, at least not in
the short- or medium-term. Note: the numbers for GDP and other
economic data should not be chained together from successive volumes
of the Factbook because of changes in the US dollar measuring rod,
revisions of data by statistical agencies, use of new or different
sources of information, and changes in national statistical methods
and practices.


GNP

Gross national product (GNP) is the value of all final goods and
services produced within a nation in a given year, plus income
earned by its citizens abroad, minus income earned by foreigners
from domestic production. The Factbook, following current practice,
uses GDP rather than GNP to measure national production. However,
the user must realize that in certain countries net remittances from
citizens working abroad may be important to national well-being.


GWP

This entry gives the gross world product (GWP) or aggregate value of
all final goods and services produced worldwide in a given year.

Geographic coordinates

This entry includes rounded latitude and longitude figures for the
purpose of finding the approximate geographic center of an entity
and is based on the locations provided in the Geographic Names
Server (GNS), maintained by the National Geospatial-Intelligence
Agency on behalf of the US Board on Geographic Names.


Geographic names

This information is presented in This information is presented in <a
href = "../appendix/appendix-f.html"Appendix F: Cross Reference List
of Geographic Names. It includes a listing of various alternate
names, former names, local names, and regional names referenced to
one or more related Factbook entries. Spellings are normally, but
not always, those approved by the US Board on Geographic Names
(BGN). Alternate names and additional information are included in
parentheses.


Geography

This category includes the entries dealing with the natural
environment and the effects of human activity.

Geography - note

This entry includes miscellaneous geographic information of
significance not included elsewhere.


Gini index

See entry for Distribution of family income - Gini index


Government

This category includes the entries dealing with the system for the
adoption and administration of public policy.

Government - note

This entry includes miscellaneous government information of
significance not included elsewhere.

Government type

This entry gives the basic form of government. Definitions of the
major governmental terms are as follows. (Note that for some
countries more than one definition applies.):
Absolute monarchy - a form of government where the monarch rules
unhindered, i.e., without any laws, constitution, or legally
organized opposition.
Anarchy - a condition of lawlessness or political disorder brought
about by the absence of governmental authority.
Authoritarian - a form of government in which state authority is
imposed onto many aspects of citizens' lives.
Commonwealth - a nation, state, or other political entity founded on
law and united by a compact of the people for the common good.
Communist - a system of government in which the state plans and
controls the economy and a single - often authoritarian - party
holds power; state controls are imposed with the elimination of
private ownership of property or capital while claiming to make
progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally
shared by the people (i.e., a classless society).
Confederacy (Confederation) - a union by compact or treaty between
states, provinces, or territories, that creates a central government
with limited powers; the constituent entities retain supreme
authority over all matters except those delegated to the central
government.
Constitutional - a government by or operating under an authoritative
document (constitution) that sets forth the system of fundamental
laws and principles that determines the nature, functions, and
limits of that government.
Constitutional democracy - a form of government in which the
sovereign power of the people is spelled out in a governing
constitution.
Constitutional monarchy - a system of government in which a monarch
is guided by a constitution whereby his/her rights, duties, and
responsibilities are spelled out in written law or by custom.
Democracy - a form of government in which the supreme power is
retained by the people, but which is usually exercised indirectly
through a system of representation and delegated authority
periodically renewed.
Democratic republic - a state in which the supreme power rests in
the body of citizens entitled to vote for officers and
representatives responsible to them.
Dictatorship - a form of government in which a ruler or small clique
wield absolute power (not restricted by a constitution or laws).
Ecclesiastical - a government administrated by a church.
Emirate - similar to a monarchy or sultanate, but a government in
which the supreme power is in the hands of an emir (the ruler of a
Muslim state); the emir may be an absolute overlord or a sovereign
with constitutionally limited authority.
Federal (Federation) - a form of government in which sovereign power
is formally divided - usually by means of a constitution - between a
central authority and a number of constituent regions (states,
colonies, or provinces) so that each region retains some management
of its internal affairs; differs from a confederacy in that the
central government exerts influence directly upon both individuals
as well as upon the regional units.
Federal republic - a state in which the powers of the central
government are restricted and in which the component parts (states,
colonies, or provinces) retain a degree of self-government; ultimate
sovereign power rests with the voters who chose their governmental
representatives.
Islamic republic - a particular form of government adopted by some
Muslim states; although such a state is, in theory, a theocracy, it
remains a republic, but its laws are required to be compatible with
the laws of Islam.
Maoism - the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism developed in
China by Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung), which states that a continuous
revolution is necessary if the leaders of a communist state are to
keep in touch with the people.
Marxism - the political, economic, and social principles espoused by
19th century economist Karl Marx; he viewed the struggle of workers
as a progression of historical forces that would proceed from a
class struggle of the proletariat (workers) exploited by capitalists
(business owners), to a socialist "dictatorship of the proletariat,"
to, finally, a classless society - Communism.
Marxism-Leninism - an expanded form of communism developed by Lenin
from doctrines of Karl Marx; Lenin saw imperialism as the final
stage of capitalism and shifted the focus of workers' struggle from
developed to underdeveloped countries.
Monarchy - a government in which the supreme power is lodged in the
hands of a monarch who reigns over a state or territory, usually for
life and by hereditary right; the monarch may be either a sole
absolute ruler or a sovereign - such as a king, queen, or prince -
with constitutionally limited authority.
Oligarchy - a government in which control is exercised by a small
group of individuals whose authority generally is based on wealth or
power.
Parliamentary democracy - a political system in which the
legislature (parliament) selects the government - a prime minister,
premier, or chancellor along with the cabinet ministers - according
to party strength as expressed in elections; by this system, the
government acquires a dual responsibility: to the people as well as
to the parliament.
Parliamentary government (Cabinet-Parliamentary government) - a
government in which members of an executive branch (the cabinet and
its leader - a prime minister, premier, or chancellor) are nominated
to their positions by a legislature or parliament, and are directly
responsible to it; this type of government can be dissolved at will
by the parliament (legislature) by means of a no confidence vote or
the leader of the cabinet may dissolve the parliament if it can no
longer function.
Parliamentary monarchy - a state headed by a monarch who is not
actively involved in policy formation or implementation (i.e., the
exercise of sovereign powers by a monarch in a ceremonial capacity);
true governmental leadership is carried out by a cabinet and its
head - a prime minister, premier, or chancellor - who are drawn from
a legislature (parliament).
Presidential - a system of government where the executive branch
exists separately from a legislature (to which it is generally not
accountable).
Republic - a representative democracy in which the people's elected
deputies (representatives), not the people themselves, vote on
legislation.
Socialism - a government in which the means of planning, producing,
and distributing goods is controlled by a central government that
theoretically seeks a more just and equitable distribution of
property and labor; in actuality, most socialist governments have
ended up being no more than dictatorships over workers by a ruling
elite.
Sultanate - similar to a monarchy, but a government in which the
supreme power is in the hands of a sultan (the head of a Muslim
state); the sultan may be an absolute ruler or a sovereign with
constitutionally limited authority.
Theocracy - a form of government in which a Deity is recognized as
the supreme civil ruler, but the Deity's laws are interpreted by
ecclesiastical authorities (bishops, mullahs, etc.); a government
subject to religious authority.
Totalitarian - a government that seeks to subordinate the individual
to the state by controlling not only all political and economic
matters, but also the attitudes, values, and beliefs of its
population.


Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

The mean solar time at the Greenwich Meridian, Greenwich, England,
with the hours and days, since 1925, reckoned from midnight. GMT is
now a historical term having been replaced by UTC on 1 January 1972.
See Coordinated Universal Time.


Gross domestic product

See GDP


Gross national product

See GNP


Gross world product

See GWP

H



HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

This entry gives an estimate of the percentage of adults (aged
15-49) living with HIV/AIDS. The adult prevalence rate is calculated
by dividing the estimated number of adults living with HIV/AIDS at
yearend by the total adult population at yearend.

HIV/AIDS - deaths

This entry gives an estimate of the number of adults and children
who died of AIDS during a given calendar year.

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

This entry gives an estimate of all people (adults and children)
alive at yearend with HIV infection, whether or not they have
developed symptoms of AIDS.

Heliports

This entry gives the total number of heliports with hard-surface
runways, helipads, or landing areas that support routine sustained
helicopter operations exclusively and have support facilities
including one or more of the following facilities: lighting, fuel,
passenger handling, or maintenance. It includes former airports used
exclusively for helicopter operations but excludes heliports limited
to day operations and natural clearings that could support
helicopter landings and takeoffs.

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Data on household income or consumption come from household surveys,
the results adjusted for household size. Nations use different
standards and procedures in collecting and adjusting the data.
Surveys based on income will normally show a more unequal
distribution than surveys based on consumption. The quality of
surveys is improving with time, yet caution is still necessary in
making inter-country comparisons.


Hydrographic data codes

See Data codes

I



Illicit drugs

This entry gives information on the five categories of illicit drugs
- narcotics, stimulants, depressants (sedatives), hallucinogens, and
cannabis. These categories include many drugs legally produced and
prescribed by doctors as well as those illegally produced and sold
outside of medical channels.
Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) is the common hemp plant, which provides
hallucinogens with some sedative properties, and includes marijuana
(pot, Acapulco gold, grass, reefer), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC,
Marinol), hashish (hash), and hashish oil (hash oil).
Coca (mostly Erythroxylum coca) is a bush with leaves that contain
the stimulant used to make cocaine. Coca is not to be confused with
cocoa, which comes from cacao seeds and is used in making chocolate,
cocoa, and cocoa butter.
Cocaine is a stimulant derived from the leaves of the coca bush.
Depressants (sedatives) are drugs that reduce tension and anxiety
and include chloral hydrate, barbiturates (Amytal, Nembutal,
Seconal, phenobarbital), benzodiazepines (Librium, Valium),
methaqualone (Quaalude), glutethimide (Doriden), and others
(Equanil, Placidyl, Valmid).
Drugs are any chemical substances that effect a physical, mental,
emotional, or behavioral change in an individual.
Drug abuse is the use of any licit or illicit chemical substance
that results in physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral
impairment in an individual.
Hallucinogens are drugs that affect sensation, thinking,
self-awareness, and emotion. Hallucinogens include LSD (acid,
microdot), mescaline and peyote (mexc, buttons, cactus), amphetamine
variants (PMA, STP, DOB), phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust, hog),
phencyclidine analogues (PCE, PCPy, TCP), and others (psilocybin,
psilocyn).
Hashish is the resinous exudate of the cannabis or hemp plant
(Cannabis sativa).
Heroin is a semisynthetic derivative of morphine.
Mandrax is a trade name for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical
depressant.
Marijuana is the dried leaf of the cannabis or hemp plant (Cannabis
sativa).
Methaqualone is a pharmaceutical depressant, referred to as mandrax
in Southwest Asia and Africa.
Narcotics are drugs that relieve pain, often induce sleep, and refer
to opium, opium derivatives, and synthetic substitutes. Natural
narcotics include opium (paregoric, parepectolin), morphine
(MS-Contin, Roxanol), codeine (Tylenol with codeine, Empirin with
codeine, Robitussin AC), and thebaine. Semisynthetic narcotics
include heroin (horse, smack), and hydromorphone (Dilaudid).
Synthetic narcotics include meperidine or Pethidine (Demerol,
Mepergan), methadone (Dolophine, Methadose), and others (Darvon,
Lomotil).
Opium is the brown, gummy exudate of the incised, unripe seedpod of
the opium poppy.
Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) is the source for the natural and
semisynthetic narcotics.
Poppy straw is the entire cut and dried opium poppy-plant material,
other than the seeds. Opium is extracted from poppy straw in
commercial operations that produce the drug for medical use.
Qat (kat, khat) is a stimulant from the buds or leaves of Catha
edulis that is chewed or drunk as tea.
Quaaludes is the North American slang term for methaqualone, a
pharmaceutical depressant.
Stimulants are drugs that relieve mild depression, increase energy
and activity, and include cocaine (coke, snow, crack), amphetamines
(Desoxyn, Dexedrine), ephedrine, ecstasy (clarity, essence, doctor,
Adam), phenmetrazine (Preludin), methylphenidate (Ritalin), and
others (Cylert, Sanorex, Tenuate).

Imports

This entry provides the total US dollar amount of merchandise
imports on a c.i.f. (cost, insurance, and freight) or f.o.b. (free
on board) basis. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate
basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.

Imports - commodities

This entry provides a listing of the highest-valued imported
products; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value.

Imports - partners

This entry provides a rank ordering of trading partners starting
with the most important; it sometimes includes the percent of total
dollar value.

Independence

For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was
achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For the
other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in
the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such
as the traditional founding date or the date of unification,
federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental change in the
form of government, or state succession. Dependent areas include the
notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency status.
Also see the Terminology note.

Industrial production growth rate

This entry gives the annual percentage increase in industrial
production (includes manufacturing, mining, and construction).

Industries

This entry provides a rank ordering of industries starting with the
largest by value of annual output.

Infant mortality rate

This entry gives the number of deaths of infants under one year old
in a given year per 1,000 live births in the same year; included is
the total death rate, and deaths by sex, male and female. This rate
is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country.

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

This entry furnishes the annual percent change in consumer prices
compared with the previous year's consumer prices.


International disputes

see Disputes - international

International organization participation

This entry lists in alphabetical order by abbreviation those
international organizations in which the subject country is a member
or participates in some other way.


International organizations

This information is presented in This information is presented in <a
href = "../appendix/appendix-b.html"Appendix B: International
Organizations and Groups which includes the name, abbreviation, date
established, aim, and members by category.

Internet country code

This entry includes the two-letter codes maintained by the
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in the ISO 3166
Alpha-2 list and used by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
(IANA) to establish country-coded top-level domains (ccTLDs).

Internet hosts

This entry lists the number of Internet hosts available within a
country. An Internet host is a computer connected directly to the
Internet; normally an Internet Service Provider's (ISP) computer is
a host. Internet users may use either a hard-wired terminal, at an
institution with a mainframe computer connected directly to the
Internet, or may connect remotely by way of a modem via telephone
line, cable, or satellite to the Internet Service Provider's host
computer. The number of hosts is one indicator of the extent of
Internet connectivity.

Internet users

This entry gives the number of users within a country that access
the Internet. Statistics vary from country to country and may
include users who access the Internet at least several times a week
to those who access it only once within a period of several months.


Introduction

This category includes one entry, Background.

Investment (gross fixed)

This entry records total business spending on fixed assets, such as
factories, machinery, equipment, dwellings, and inventories of raw
materials, which provide the basis for future production. It is
measured gross of the depreciation of the assets, i.e., it includes
investment that merely replaces worn-out or scrapped capital.

Irrigated land

This entry gives the number of square kilometers of land area that
is artificially supplied with water.

J



Judicial branch

This entry contains the name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief
description of the selection process for members.

L



Labor force

This entry contains the total labor force figure.

Labor force - by occupation

This entry lists the percentage distribution of the labor force by
occupation. The distribution will total less than 100 percent if the
data are incomplete.

Land boundaries

This entry contains the total length of all land boundaries and the
individual lengths for each of the contiguous border countries. When
available, official lengths published by national statistical
agencies are used. Because surveying methods may differ, country
border lengths reported by contiguous countries may differ.

Land use

This entry contains the percentage shares of total land area for
three different types of land use: arable land - land cultivated for
crops like wheat, maize, and rice that are replanted after each
harvest; permanent crops - land cultivated for crops like citrus,
coffee, and rubber that are not replanted after each harvest;
includes land under flowering shrubs, fruit trees, nut trees, and
vines, but excludes land under trees grown for wood or timber; other
- any land not arable or under permanent crops; includes permanent
meadows and pastures, forests and woodlands, built-on areas, roads,
barren land, etc.

Languages

This entry provides a rank ordering of languages starting with the
largest and sometimes includes the percent of total population
speaking that language.

Legal system

This entry contains a brief description of the legal system's
historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of
International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.

Legislative branch

This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral,
bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of
office. Elections includes the nature of the election process or
accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next
election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or
number of seats held by each party in the last election.

Life expectancy at birth

This entry contains the average number of years to be lived by a
group of people born in the same year, if mortality at each age
remains constant in the future. The entry includes total population
as well as the male and female components. Life expectancy at birth
is also a measure of overall quality of life in a country and
summarizes the mortality at all ages. It can also be thought of as
indicating the potential return on investment in human capital and
is necessary for the calculation of various actuarial measures.

Literacy

This entry includes a definition of literacy and Census Bureau
percentages for the total population, males, and females. There are
no universal definitions and standards of literacy. Unless otherwise
specified, all rates are based on the most common definition - the
ability to read and write at a specified age. Detailing the
standards that individual countries use to assess the ability to
read and write is beyond the scope of the Factbook. Information on
literacy, while not a perfect measure of educational results, is
probably the most easily available and valid for international
comparisons. Low levels of literacy, and education in general, can
impede the economic development of a country in the current rapidly
changing, technology-driven world.

Location

This entry identifies the country's regional location, neighboring
countries, and adjacent bodies of water.

M



Major infectious diseases

This entry lists major infectious diseases likely to be encountered
in countries where the risk of such diseases is assessed to be very
high as compared to the United States. These infectious diseases
represent risks to US government personnel traveling to the
specified country for a period of less than three years. The degree
of risk is assessed by considering the foreign nature of these
infectious diseases, their severity, and the probability of being
affected by the diseases present. The diseases listed do not
necessarily represent the total disease burden experienced by the
local population.
The risk to an individual traveler varies considerably by the
specific location, visit duration, type of activities, type of
accommodations, time of year, and other factors. Consultation with a
travel medicine physician is needed to evaluate individual risk and
recommend appropriate preventive measures such as vaccines.
Diseases are organized into the following six exposure categories
shown in italics and listed in typical descending order of risk.
Note: The sequence of exposure categories listed in individual
country entries may vary according to local conditions.
food or waterborne diseases acquired through eating or drinking on
the local economy:
Hepatitis A - viral disease that interferes with the functioning of
the liver; spread through consumption of food or water contaminated
with fecal matter, principally in areas of poor sanitation; victims
exhibit fever, jaundice, and diarrhea; 15% of victims will
experience prolonged symptoms over 6-9 months; vaccine available.
Hepatitis E - water-borne viral disease that interferes with the
functioning of the liver; most commonly spread through fecal
contamination of drinking water; victims exhibit jaundice, fatigue,
abdominal pain, and dark colored urine.
Typhoid fever - bacterial disease spread through contact with food
or water contaminated by fecal matter or sewage; victims exhibit
sustained high fevers; left untreated, mortality rates can reach 20%.
vectorborne diseases acquired through the bite of an infected
arthropod:
Malaria - caused by single-cell parasitic protozoa Plasmodium;
transmitted to humans via the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito;
parasites multiply in the liver attacking red blood cells resulting
in cycles of fever, chills, and sweats accompanied by anemia; death
due to damage to vital organs and interruption of blood supply to
the brain; endemic in 100, mostly tropical, countries with 90% of
cases and the majority of 1.5-2.5 million estimated annual deaths
occurring in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dengue fever - mosquito-borne (Aedes aegypti) viral disease
associated with urban environments; manifests as sudden onset of
fever and severe headache; occasionally produces shock and
hemorrhage leading to death in 5% of cases.
Yellow fever - mosquito-borne viral disease; severity ranges from
influenza-like symptoms to severe hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever;
occurs only in tropical South America and sub-Saharan Africa, where
most cases are reported; fatality rate is less than 20%.
Japanese Encephalitis - mosquito-borne (Culex tritaeniorhynchus)
viral disease associated with rural areas in Asia; acute
encephalitis can progress to paralysis, coma, and death; fatality
rates 30%.
African Trypanosomiasis - caused by the parasitic protozoa
Trypanosoma; transmitted to humans via the bite of bloodsucking
Tsetse flies; infection leads to malaise and irregular fevers and,
in advanced cases when the parasites invade the central nervous
system, coma and death; endemic in 36 countries of sub-Saharan
Africa; cattle and wild animals act as reservoir hosts for the
parasites.
Cutaneous Leishmaniasis - caused by the parasitic protozoa
leishmania; transmitted to humans via the bite of sandflies; results
in skin lesions that may become chronic; endemic in 88 countries;
90% of cases occur in Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia,
Brazil, and Peru; wild and domesticated animals as well as humans
can act as reservoirs of infection.
Plague - bacterial disease transmitted by fleas normally associated
with rats; person-to-person airborne transmission also possible;
recent plague epidemics occurred in areas of Asia, Africa, and South
America associated with rural areas or small towns and villages;
manifests as fever, headache, and painfully swollen lymph nodes;
disease progresses rapidly and without antibiotic treatment leads to
pneumonic form with a death rate in excess of 50%.
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever - tick-borne viral disease;
infection may also result from exposure to infected animal blood or
tissue; geographic distribution includes Africa, Asia, the Middle
East, and Eastern Europe; sudden onset of fever, headache, and
muscle aches followed by hemorrhaging in the bowels, urine, nose,
and gums; mortality rate is approximately 30%.
Rift Valley fever - viral disease affecting domesticated animals and
humans; transmission is by mosquito and other biting insects;
infection may also occur through handling of infected meat or
contact with blood; geographic distribution includes eastern and
southern Africa where cattle and sheep are raised; symptoms are
generally mild with fever and some liver abnormalities, but the
disease may progress to hemorrhagic fever, encephalitis, or ocular
disease; fatality rates are low at about 1% of cases.
Chikungunya - mosquito-borne (Aedes aegypti) viral disease
associated with urban environments, similar to Dengue Fever;
characterized by sudden onset of fever, rash, and severe joint pain
usually lasting 3-7 days, some cases result in persistent arthritis.
water contact diseases acquired through swimming or wading in
freshwater lakes, streams, and rivers:
Leptospirosis - bacterial disease that affects animals and humans;
infection occurs through contact with water, food, or soil
contaminated by animal urine; symptoms include high fever, severe
headache, vomiting, jaundice, and diarrhea; untreated, the disease
can result in kidney damage, liver failure, meningitis, or
respiratory distress; fatality rates are low but left untreated
recovery can take months.
Schistosomiasis - caused by parasitic trematode flatworm
Schistosoma; fresh water snails act as intermediate host and release
larval form of parasite that penetrates the skin of people exposed
to contaminated water; worms mature and reproduce in the blood
vessels, liver, kidneys, and intestines releasing eggs, which become
trapped in tissues triggering an immune response; may manifest as
either urinary or intestinal disease resulting in decreased work or
learning capacity; mortality, while generally low, may occur in
advanced cases usually due to bladder cancer; endemic in 74
developing countries with 80% of infected people living in
sub-Saharan Africa; humans act as the reservoir for this parasite.
aerosolized dust or soil contact disease acquired through inhalation
of aerosols contaminated with rodent urine:
Lassa fever - viral disease carried by rats of the genus Mastomys;
endemic in portions of West Africa; infection occurs through direct
contact with or consumption of food contaminated by rodent urine or
fecal matter containing virus particles; fatality rate can reach 50%
in epidemic outbreaks.
respiratory disease acquired through close contact with an
infectious person:
Meningococcal meningitis - bacterial disease causing an inflammation
of the lining of the brain and spinal cord; one of the most
important bacterial pathogens is Neisseria meningitidis because of
its potential to cause epidemics; symptoms include stiff neck, high
fever, headaches, and vomiting; bacteria are transmitted from person
to person by respiratory droplets and facilitated by close and
prolonged contact resulting from crowded living conditions, often
with a seasonal distribution; death occurs in 5-15% of cases,
typically within 24-48 hours of onset of symptoms; highest burden of
meningococcal disease occurs in the hyperendemic region of
sub-Saharan Africa known as the "Meningitis Belt" which stretches
from Senegal east to Ethiopia.
animal contact disease acquired through direct contact with local
animals:
Rabies - viral disease of mammals usually transmitted through the
bite of an infected animal, most commonly dogs; virus affects the
central nervous system causing brain alteration and death; symptoms
initially are non-specific fever and headache progressing to
neurological symptoms; death occurs within days of the onset of
symptoms.

Manpower available for military service

This entry gives the number of males and females falling in the
military age range for a country (defined as being ages 16-49) and
assumes that every individual is fit to serve.

Manpower fit for military service

This entry gives the number of males and females falling in the
military age range for a country (defined as being ages 16-49) and
who are not otherwise disqualified for health reasons; accounts for
the health situation in the country and provides a more realistic
estimate of the actual number fit to serve.

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

This entry gives the number of males and females entering the
military manpower pool (i.e., reaching age 16) in any given year and
is a measure of the availability of military-age young adults.

Map references

This entry includes the name of the Factbook reference map on which
a country may be found. Note that boundary representations on these
maps are not necessarily authoritative. The entry on Geographic
coordinates may be helpful in finding some smaller countries.

Maritime claims

This entry includes the following claims, the definitions of which
are excerpted from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the
Sea (UNCLOS), which alone contains the full and definitive
descriptions:
territorial sea - the sovereignty of a coastal state extends beyond
its land territory and internal waters to an adjacent belt of sea,
described as the territorial sea in the UNCLOS (Part II); this
sovereignty extends to the air space over the territorial sea as
well as its underlying seabed and subsoil; every state has the right
to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not
exceeding 12 nautical miles; the normal baseline for measuring the
breadth of the territorial sea is the mean low-water line along the
coast as marked on large-scale charts officially recognized by the
coastal state; the UNCLOS describes specific rules for archipelagic
states.
contiguous zone - according to the UNCLOS (Article 33), this is a
zone contiguous to a coastal state's territorial sea, over which it
may exercise the control necessary to: prevent infringement of its
customs, fiscal, immigration, or sanitary laws and regulations
within its territory or territorial sea; punish infringement of the
above laws and regulations committed within its territory or
territorial sea; the contiguous zone may not extend beyond 24
nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the
territorial sea is measured (e.g. the US has claimed a 12-nautical
mile contiguous zone in addition to its 12-nautical mile territorial
sea).
exclusive economic zone (EEZ) - the UNCLOS (Part V) defines the EEZ
as a zone beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea in which a
coastal state has: sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and
exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether
living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of
the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for
the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the
production of energy from the water, currents, and winds;
jurisdiction with regard to the establishment and use of artificial
islands, installations, and structures; marine scientific research;
the protection and preservation of the marine environment; the outer
limit of the exclusive economic zone shall not exceed 200 nautical
miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial
sea is measured.
continental shelf - the UNCLOS (Article 76) defines the continental
shelf of a coastal state as comprising the seabed and subsoil of the
submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea throughout
the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of
the continental margin, or to a distance of 200 nautical miles from
the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is
measured where the outer edge of the continental margin does not
extend up to that distance; the continental margin comprises the
submerged prolongation of the landmass of the coastal state, and
consists of the seabed and subsoil of the shelf, the slope and the
rise; wherever the continental margin extends beyond 200 nautical
miles from the baseline, coastal states may extend their claim to a
distance not to exceed 350 nautical miles from the baseline or 100
nautical miles from the 2500 meter isobath; it does not include the
deep ocean floor with its oceanic ridges or the subsoil thereof.
exclusive fishing zone - while this term is not used in the UNCLOS,
some states (e.g., the United Kingdom) have chosen not to claim an
EEZ, but rather to claim jurisdiction over the living resources off
their coast; in such cases, the term exclusive fishing zone is often
used; the breadth of this zone is normally the same as the EEZ or
200 nautical miles.

Market value of publicly traded shares

This entry gives the value of shares issued by publicly traded
companies at a price determined in the national stock markets on the
final day of the period indicated. It is simply the latest price per
share multiplied by the total number of outstanding shares,
cumulated over all companies listed on the particular exchange.

Median age

This entry is the age that divides a population into two numerically
equal groups; that is, half the people are younger than this age and
half are older. It is a single index that summarizes the age
distribution of a population. Currently, the median age ranges from
a low of about 15 in Uganda and Gaza Strip to 40 or more in several
European countries and Japan. See the entry for "Age structure" for
the importance of a young versus an older age structure and, by
implication, a low versus a higher median age.

Merchant marine

Merchant marine may be defined as all ships engaged in the carriage
of goods; or all commercial vessels (as opposed to all nonmilitary
ships), which excludes tugs, fishing vessels, offshore oil rigs,
etc. This entry contains information in four fields - total, ships
by type, foreign-owned, and registered in other countries.
Total includes the number of ships (1,000 GRT or over), total DWT
for those ships, and total GRT for those ships. DWT or dead weight
tonnage is the total weight of cargo, plus bunkers, stores, etc.,
that a ship can carry when immersed to the appropriate load line.
GRT or gross register tonnage is a figure obtained by measuring the
entire sheltered volume of a ship available for cargo and passengers
and converting it to tons on the basis of 100 cubic feet per ton;
there is no stable relationship between GRT and DWT.
Ships by type includes a listing of barge carriers, bulk cargo
ships, cargo ships, chemical tankers, combination bulk carriers,
combination ore/oil carriers, container ships, liquefied gas
tankers, livestock carriers, multifunctional large-load carriers,
petroleum tankers, passenger ships, passenger/cargo ships, railcar
carriers, refrigerated cargo ships, roll-on/roll-off cargo ships,
short-sea passenger ships, specialized tankers, and vehicle carriers.
Foreign-owned are ships that fly the flag of one country but belong
to owners in another.
Registered in other countries are ships that belong to owners in one
country but fly the flag of another.


Military

This category includes the entries dealing with a country's military
structure, manpower, and expenditures.

Military - note

This entry includes miscellaneous military information of
significance not included elsewhere.

Military branches

This entry lists the service branches subordinate to defense
ministries or the equivalent (typically ground, naval, air, and
marine forces).

Military expenditures

This entry gives spending on defense programs for the most recent
year available as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP); the GDP
is calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in terms of
purchasing power parity (PPP).

Military service age and obligation

This entry gives the required ages for voluntary or conscript
military service and the length of service obligation.


Money figures

All money figures are expressed in contemporaneous US dollars unless
otherwise indicated.

N



National holiday

This entry gives the primary national day of celebration - usually
independence day.

Nationality

This entry provides the identifying terms for citizens - noun and
adjective.

Natural gas - consumption

This entry is the total natural gas consumed in cubic meters (cu m).
The discrepancy between the amount of natural gas produced and/or
imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is due to the
omission of stock changes and other complicating factors.

Natural gas - exports

This entry is the total natural gas exported in cubic meters (cu m).

Natural gas - imports

This entry is the total natural gas imported in cubic meters (cu m).

Natural gas - production

This entry is the total natural gas produced in cubic meters (cu m).
The discrepancy between the amount of natural gas produced and/or
imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is due to the
omission of stock changes and other complicating factors.

Natural gas - proved reserves

This entry is the stock of proved reserves of natural gas in cubic
meters (cu m). Proved reserves are those quantities of natural gas,
which, by analysis of geological and engineering data, can be
estimated with a high degree of confidence to be commercially
recoverable from a given date forward, from known reservoirs and
under current economic conditions.

Natural hazards

This entry lists potential natural disasters.

Natural resources

This entry lists a country's mineral, petroleum, hydropower, and
other resources of commercial importance.

Net migration rate

This entry includes the figure for the difference between the number
of persons entering and leaving a country during the year per 1,000
persons (based on midyear population). An excess of persons entering
the country is referred to as net immigration (e.g., 3.56
migrants/1,000 population); an excess of persons leaving the country
as net emigration (e.g., -9.26 migrants/1,000 population). The net
migration rate indicates the contribution of migration to the
overall level of population change. High levels of migration can
cause problems such as increasing unemployment and potential ethnic
strife (if people are coming in) or a reduction in the labor force,
perhaps in certain key sectors (if people are leaving).

O



Oil - consumption

This entry is the total oil consumed in barrels per day (bbl/day).
The discrepancy between the amount of oil produced and/or imported
and the amount consumed and/or exported is due to the omission of
stock changes, refinery gains, and other complicating factors.

Oil - exports

This entry is the total oil exported in barrels per day (bbl/day),
including both crude oil and oil products.

Oil - imports

This entry is the total oil imported in barrels per day (bbl/day),
including both crude oil and oil products.

Oil - production

This entry is the total oil produced in barrels per day (bbl/day).
The discrepancy between the amount of oil produced and/or imported
and the amount consumed and/or exported is due to the omission of
stock changes, refinery gains, and other complicating factors.

Oil - proved reserves

This entry is the stock of proved reserves of crude oil in barrels
(bbl). Proved reserves are those quantities of petroleum which, by
analysis of geological and engineering data, can be estimated with a
high degree of confidence to be commercially recoverable from a
given date forward, from known reservoirs and under current economic
conditions.

P


People

This category includes the entries dealing with the characteristics
of the people and their society.

People - note

This entry includes miscellaneous demographic information of
significance not included elsewhere.


Personal Names - Capitalization

The Factbook capitalizes the surname or family name of individuals
for the convenience of our users who are faced with a world of
different cultures and naming conventions. The need for
capitalization, bold type, underlining, italics, or some other
indicator of the individual's surname is apparent in the following
examples: MAO Zedong, Fidel CASTRO Ruz, George W. BUSH, and TUNKU
SALAHUDDIN Abdul Aziz Shah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Hisammuddin Alam
Shah. By knowing the surname, a short form without all capital
letters can be used with confidence as in President Castro, Chairman
Mao, President Bush, or Sultan Tunku Salahuddin. The same system of
capitalization is extended to the names of leaders with surnames
that are not commonly used such as Queen ELIZABETH II. For
Vietnamese names, the given name is capitalized because officials
are referred to by their given name rather than by their surname.
For example, the president of Vietnam is Tran Duc LUONG. His surname
is Tran, but he is referred to by his given name - President LUONG.


Personal Names - Spelling

The romanization of personal names in the Factbook normally follows
the same transliteration system used by the US Board on Geographic
Names for spelling place names. At times, however, a foreign leader
expressly indicates a preference for, or the media or official
documents regularly use, a romanized spelling that differs from the
transliteration derived from the US Government standard. In such
cases, the Factbook uses the alternative spelling.


Personal Names - Titles

The Factbook capitalizes any valid title (or short form of it)
immediately preceding a person's name. A title standing alone is not
capitalized. Examples: President PUTIN and President BUSH are chiefs
of state. In Russia, the president is chief of state and the premier
is the head of the government, while in the US, the president is
both chief of state and head of government.


Petroleum

See entries under Oil.


Petroleum products

See entries under Oil.

Pipelines

This entry gives the lengths and types of pipelines for transporting
products like natural gas, crude oil, or petroleum products.


Piracy

Piracy is defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law
of the Sea as any illegal act of violence, detention, or depredation
directed against a ship, aircraft, persons, or property in a place
outside the jurisdiction of any State. Such criminal acts committed
in the territorial waters of a littoral state are generally
considered to be armed robbery against ships.

Political parties and leaders

This entry includes a listing of significant political organizations
and their leaders.

Political pressure groups and leaders

This entry includes a listing of a country's political, social,
labor, or religious organizations that are involved in politics, or
that exert political pressure, but whose leaders do not stand for
legislative election. International movements or organizations are
generally not listed.

Population

This entry gives an estimate from the US Bureau of the Census based
on statistics from population censuses, vital statistics
registration systems, or sample surveys pertaining to the recent
past and on assumptions about future trends. The total population
presents one overall measure of the potential impact of the country
on the world and within its region. Note: Starting with the 1993
Factbook, demographic estimates for some countries (mostly African)
have explicitly taken into account the effects of the growing impact
of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. These countries are currently: The
Bahamas, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi,
Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of
the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon,
Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique,
Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania,
Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Population growth rate

The average annual percent change in the population, resulting from
a surplus (or deficit) of births over deaths and the balance of
migrants entering and leaving a country. The rate may be positive or
negative. The growth rate is a factor in determining how great a
burden would be imposed on a country by the changing needs of its
people for infrastructure (e.g., schools, hospitals, housing,
roads), resources (e.g., food, water, electricity), and jobs. Rapid
population growth can be seen as threatening by neighboring
countries.

Ports and terminals

This entry lists major ports and terminals primarily on the basis of
the amount of cargo tonnage shipped through the facilities on an
annual basis. In some instances, the number of containers handled or
ship visits were also considered.

Public debt

This entry records the cumulative total of all government borrowings
less repayments that are denominated in a country's home currency.
Public debt should not be confused with external debt, which
reflects the foreign currency liabilities of both the private and
public sector and must be financed out of foreign exchange earnings.

R



Radio broadcast stations

This entry includes the total number of AM, FM, and shortwave
broadcast stations.

Railways

This entry states the total route length of the railway network and
of its component parts by gauge: broad, standard, narrow, and dual.
Other gauges are listed under note.


Reference maps

This section includes world and regional maps.

Refugees and internally displaced persons

This entry includes those persons residing in a country as refugees
or internally displaced persons (IDPs). The definition of a refugee
according to a United Nations Convention is "a person who is outside
his/her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a
well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion,
nationality, membership in a particular social group or political
opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the
protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of
persecution." The UN established the Office of the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1950 to handle refugee matters
worldwide. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in
the Near East (UNRWA) has a different operational definition for a
Palestinian refugee: "a person whose normal place of residence was
Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 and who lost
both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict."
However, UNHCR also assists some 400,000 Palestinian refugees not
covered under the UNRWA definition. The term "internally displaced
person" is not specifically covered in the UN Convention; it is used
to describe people who have fled their homes for reasons similar to
refugees, but who remain within their own national territory and are
subject to the laws of that state.

Religions

This entry is an ordered listing of religions by adherents starting
with the largest group and sometimes includes the percent of total
population. The core characteristics and beliefs of the world's
major religions are described below.
Baha'i - Founded by Mirza Husayn-Ali (known as Baha'u'llah) in Iran
in 1852, Baha'i faith emphasizes monotheism and believes in one
eternal transcendent God. Its guiding focus is to encourage the
unity of all peoples on the earth so that justice and peace may be
achieved on earth. Baha'i revelation contends the prophets of major
world religions reflect some truth or element of the divine,
believes all were manifestations of God given to specific
communities in specific times, and that Baha'u'llah is an additional
prophet meant to call all humankind. Bahais are an open community,
located worldwide, with the greatest concentration of believers in
South Asia.
Buddhism - Religion or philosophy inspired by the 5th century B.C.
teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (also known as Gautama Buddha "the
enlightened one"). Buddhism focuses on the goal of spiritual
enlightenment centered on an understanding of Gautama Buddha's Four
Noble Truths on the nature of suffering, and on the Eightfold Path
of spiritual and moral practice, to break the cycle of suffering of
which we are a part. Buddhism ascribes to a karmic system of
rebirth. Several schools and sects of Buddhism exist, differing
often on the nature of the Buddha, the extent to which enlightenment
can be achieved - for one or for all, and by whom - religious orders
or laity.
Basic Groupings
   Theravada Buddhism: The oldest Buddhist school, Theravada is
practiced mostly in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, and Thailand,
with minority representation elsewhere in Asia and the West.
Theravadans follow the Pali Canon of Buddha's teachings, and believe
that one may escape the cycle of rebirth, worldly attachment, and
suffering for oneself; this process may take one or several
lifetimes.
   Mahayana Buddhism, including subsets Zen and Tibetan Buddhism:
Forms of Mahayana Buddhism are common in East Asia and Tibet, and
parts of the West. Mahayanas have additional scriptures beyond the
Pali Canon and believe the Buddha is eternal and still teaching.
Unlike Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana schools maintain the
Buddha-nature is present in all beings and all will ultimately
achieve enlightenment.
Christianity - Descending from Judaism, Christianity's central
belief maintains Jesus of Nazareth is the promised messiah of the
Hebrew Scriptures, and that his life, death, and resurrection are
salvific for the world. Christianity is one of the three
monotheistic Abrahamic faiths, along with Islam and Judaism, which
traces its spiritual lineage to Abraham of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Its sacred texts include the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament (or
the Christian Gospels).
Basic Groupings
   Catholicism (or Roman Catholicism): This is the oldest
established western Christian church and the world's largest single
religious body. It is supranational, and recognizes a hierarchical
structure with the Pope, or Bishop of Rome, as its head, located at
the Vatican. Catholics believe the Pope is the divinely ordered head
of the Church from a direct spiritual legacy of Jesus' apostle
Peter. Catholicism is comprised of 23 particular Churches, or Rites
- one Western (Latin-Rite) and 22 Eastern. The Latin Rite is by far
the largest, making up about 98% of Catholic membership.
Eastern-Rite Churches, such as the Maronite Church and the Ukrainian
Catholic Church, are in communion with Rome although they preserve
their own worship traditions and their immediate hierarchy consists
of clergy within their own rite. The Catholic Church has a
comprehensive theological and moral doctrine specified for believers
in its catechism, which makes it unique among most forms of
Christianity.
   Mormonism (including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints): Originating in 1830 in the United States under Joseph
Smith, Mormonism is not characterized as a form of Protestant
Christianity because it claims additional revealed Christian
scriptures after the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. The Book of
Mormon maintains there was an appearance of Jesus in the New World
following the Christian account of his resurrection, and that the
Americas are uniquely blessed continents. Mormonism believes earlier
Christian traditions, such as the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and
Protestant reform faiths, are apostasies and that Joseph Smith's
revelation of the Book of Mormon is a restoration of true
Christianity. Mormons have a hierarchical religious leadership
structure, and actively proselytize their faith; they are located
primarily in the Americas and in a number of other Western countries.
   Orthodox Christianity: The oldest established eastern form of
Christianity, the Holy Orthodox Church, has a ceremonial head in the
Bishop of Constantinople (Istanbul), also known as a Patriarch, but
its various regional forms (e.g., Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox,
Serbian Orthodox, Ukrainian Orthodox) are autocephalous (independent
of Constantinople's authority, and have their own Patriarchs).
Orthodox churches are highly nationalist and ethnic. The Orthodox
Christian faith shares many theological tenets with the Roman
Catholic Church, but diverges on some key premises and does not
recognize the governing authority of the Pope.
   Protestant Christianity: Protestant Christianity originated in
the 16th century as an attempt to reform Roman Catholicism's
practices, dogma, and theology. It encompasses several forms or
denominations which are extremely varied in structure, beliefs,
relationship to state, clergy, and governance. Many protestant
theologies emphasize the primary role of scripture in their faith,
advocating individual interpretation of Christian texts without the
mediation of a final religious authority such as the Roman Pope. The
oldest Protestant Christianities include Lutheranism, Calvinism
(Presbyterians), and Anglican Christianity (Episcopalians), which
have established liturgies, governing structure, and formal clergy.
Other variants on Protestant Christianity, including Pentecostal
movements and independent churches, may lack one or more of these
elements, and their leadership and beliefs are individualized and
dynamic.
Hinduism - Originating in the Vedic civilization of India (second
and first millennium B.C.), Hinduism is an extremely diverse set of
beliefs and practices with no single founder or religious authority.
Hinduism has many scriptures; the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the
Bhagavad-Gita are among some of the most important. Hindus may
worship one or many deities, usually with prayer rituals within
their own home. The most common figures of devotion are the gods
Vishnu, Shiva, and a mother goddess, Devi. Most Hindus believe the
soul, or atman, is eternal, and goes through a cycle of birth,
death, and rebirth (samsara) determined by one's positive or
negative karma, or the consequences of one's actions. The goal of
religious life is to learn to act so as to finally achieve
liberation (moksha) of one's soul, escaping the rebirth cycle.
Islam - The third of the monotheistic Abrahamic faiths, Islam
originated with the teachings of Muhammad in the 7th century.
Muslims believe Muhammad is the final of all religious prophets
(beginning with Abraham) and that the Qu'ran, which is the Islamic
scripture, was revealed to him by God. Islam derives from the word
submission, and obedience to God is a primary theme in this
religion. In order to live an Islamic life, believers must follow
the five pillars, or tenets, of Islam, which are the testimony of
faith (shahada), daily prayer (salah), giving alms (zakah), fasting
during Ramadan (sawm), and the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj).
Basic Groupings
   The two primary branches of Islam are Sunni and Shia, which split
from each other over a religio-political leadership dispute about
the rightful successor to Muhammad. The Shia believe Muhammad's
cousin and son-in-law, Ali, was the only divinely ordained Imam
(religious leader), while the Sunni maintain the first three caliphs
after Muhammad were also legitimate authorities. In modern Islam,
Sunnis and Shia continue to have different views of acceptable
schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and who is a proper Islamic
religious authority. Islam also has an active mystical branch,
Sufism, with various Sunni and Shia subsets.
    Sunni Islam accounts for over 75% of the world's Muslim
population. It recognizes the Abu Bakr as the first caliph after
Muhammad. Sunni has four schools of Islamic doctrine and law -
Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali - which uniquely interpret the
Hadith, or recorded oral traditions of Muhammad. A Sunni Muslim may
elect to follow any one of these schools, as all are considered
equally valid.
    Shia Islam represents 10-20% of Muslims worldwide, and its
distinguishing feature is its reverence for Ali as an infallible,
divinely inspired leader, and as the first Imam of the Muslim
community after Muhammad. A majority of Shia are known as
"Twelvers," because they believe that the 11 familial successor
imams after Muhammad culminate in a 12th Imam (al-Mahdi) who is
hidden in the world and will reappear at its end to redeem the
righteous.
Variants
   Ismaili faith: A sect of Shia Islam, its adherents are also known
as "Seveners," because they believe that the rightful seventh Imam
in Islamic leadership was Isma'il, the elder son of Imam Jafar
al-Sadiq. Ismaili tradition awaits the return of the seventh Imam as
the Mahdi, or Islamic messianic figure. Ismailis are located in
various parts of the world, particularly South Asia and the Levant.
   Alawi faith: Another Shia sect of Islam, the name reflects
followers' devotion to the religious authority of Ali. Alawites are
a closed, secretive religious group who assert they are Shia
Muslims, although outside scholars speculate their beliefs may have
a syncretic mix with other faiths originating in the Middle East.
Alawis live mostly in Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey.
   Druze faith: A highly secretive tradition and a closed community
that derives from the Ismaili sect of Islam; its core beliefs are
thought to emphasize a combination of Gnostic principles believing
that the Fatimid caliph, al-Hakin, is the one who embodies the key
aspects of goodness of the universe, which are, the intellect, the
word, the soul, the preceder, and the follower. The Druze have a key
presence in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel.
Jainism - Originating in India, Jain spiritual philosophy believes
in an eternal human soul, the eternal universe, and a principle of
"the own nature of things." It emphasizes compassion for all living
things, seeks liberation of the human soul from reincarnation
through enlightenment, and values personal responsibility due to the
belief in the immediate consequences of one's behavior. Jain
philosophy teaches non-violence and prescribes vegetarianism for
monks and laity alike; its adherents are a highly influential
religious minority in Indian society.
Judaism - One of the first known monotheistic religions, likely
dating to between 2000-1500 B.C., Judaism is the native faith of the
Jewish people, based upon the belief in a covenant of responsibility
between a sole omnipotent creator God and Abraham, the patriarch of
Judaism's Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh. Divine revelation of principles
and prohibitions in the Hebrew Scriptures form the basis of Jewish
law, or halakhah, which is a key component of the faith. While there
are extensive traditions of Jewish halakhic and theological
discourse, there is no final dogmatic authority in the tradition.
Local communities have their own religious leadership. Modern
Judaism has three basic categories of faith: Orthodox, Conservative,
and Reform/Liberal. These differ in their views and observance of
Jewish law, with the Orthodox representing the most traditional
practice, and Reform/Liberal communities the most accommodating of
individualized interpretations of Jewish identity and faith.
Shintoism - A native animist tradition of Japan, Shinto practice is
based upon the premise that every being and object has its own
spirit or kami. Shinto practitioners worship several particular
kamis, including the kamis of nature, and families often have
shrines to their ancestors' kamis. Shintoism has no fixed tradition
of prayers or prescribed dogma, but is characterized by individual
ritual. Respect for the kamis in nature is a key Shinto value. Prior
to the end of World War II, Shinto was the state religion of Japan,
and bolstered the cult of the Japanese emperor.
Sikhism - Founded by the Guru Nanak (born 1469), Sikhism believes in
a non-anthropomorphic, supreme, eternal, creator God; centering
one's devotion to God is seen as a means of escaping the cycle of
rebirth. Sikhs follow the teachings of Nanak and nine subsequent
gurus. Their scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib - also known as the
Adi Granth - is considered the living Guru, or final authority of
Sikh faith and theology. Sikhism emphasizes equality of humankind
and disavows caste, class, or gender discrimination.
Taoism - Chinese philosophy or religion based upon Lao Tzu's Tao Te
Ching, which centers on belief in the Tao, or the way, as the flow
of the universe and the nature of things. Taoism encourages a
principle of non-force, or wu-wei, as the means to live harmoniously
with the Tao. Taoists believe the esoteric world is made up of a
perfect harmonious balance and nature, while in the manifest world -
particularly in the body - balance is distorted. The Three Jewels of
the Tao - compassion, simplicity, and humility - serve as the basis
for Taoist ethics.
Zoroastrianism - Originating from the teachings of Zoroaster in
about the 9th or 10th century B.C., Zoroastrianism may be the oldest
continuing creedal religion. Its key beliefs center on a
transcendent creator God, Ahura Mazda, and the concept of free will.
The key ethical tenets of Zoroastrianism expressed in its scripture,
the Avesta, are based on a dualistic worldview where one may prevent
chaos if one chooses to serve God and exercises good thoughts, good
words, and good deeds. Zoroastrianism is generally a closed religion
and members are almost always born to Zoroastrian parents. Prior to
the spread of Islam, Zoroastrianism dominated greater Iran. Today,
though a minority, Zoroastrians remain primarily in Iran, India, and
Pakistan.

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

This entry gives the dollar value for the stock of all financial
assets that are available to the central monetary authority for use
in meeting a country's balance of payments needs as of the end-date
of the period specified. This category includes not only foreign
currency and gold, but also a country's holdings of Special Drawing
Rights in the International Monetary Fund, and its reserve position
in the Fund.

Roadways

This entry gives the total length of the road network and includes
the length of the paved and unpaved portions.

S



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

School life expectancy (SLE) is the total number of years of
schooling (primary to tertiary) that a child can expect to receive,
assuming that the probability of his or her being enrolled in school
at any particular future age is equal to the current enrollment
ratio at that age. Caution must be maintained when utilizing this
indicator in international comparisons. For example, a year or grade
completed in one country is not necessarily the same in terms of
educational content or quality as a year or grade completed in
another country. SLE represents the expected number of years of
schooling that will be completed, including years spent repeating
one or more grades.

Sex ratio

This entry includes the number of males for each female in five age
groups - at birth, under 15 years, 15-64 years, 65 years and over,
and for the total population. Sex ratio at birth has recently
emerged as an indicator of certain kinds of sex discrimination in
some countries. For instance, high sex ratios at birth in some Asian
countries are now attributed to sex-selective abortion and
infanticide due to a strong preference for sons. This will affect
future marriage patterns and fertility patterns. Eventually, it
could cause unrest among young adult males who are unable to find
partners.

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

This entry gives the cumulative US dollar value of all investments
in foreign countries made directly by residents - primarily
companies - of the home country, as of the end of the time period
indicated. Direct investment excludes investment through purchase of
shares.

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

This entry gives the cumulative US dollar value of all investments
in the home country made directly by residents - primarily companies
- of other countries as of the end of the time period indicated.
Direct investment excludes investment through purchase of shares.

Stock of domestic credit

This entry is the total quantity of credit, denominated in the
domestic currency, provided by banks to nonbanking institutions. The
national currency units have been converted to US dollars at the
closing exchange rate on the date of the information.

Stock of money

This entry, also known as "M1," comprises the total quantity of
currency in circulation (notes and coins) plus demand deposits
denominated in the national currency, held by nonbank financial
institutions, state and local governments, nonfinancial public
enterprises, and the private sector of the economy. The national
currency units have been converted to US dollars at the closing
exchange rate on the date of the information.

Stock of quasi money

This entry comprises the total quantity of time and savings deposits
denominated in the national currency, held by nonbank financial
institutions, state and local governments, nonfinancial public
enterprises, and the private sector of the economy. When added
together with "M1" the total money supply is known as "M2." The
national currency units have been converted to US dollars at the
closing exchange rate on the date of the information.

Suffrage

This entry gives the age at enfranchisement and whether the right to
vote is universal or restricted.

T


Telephone numbers

All telephone numbers in The World Factbook consist of the country
code in brackets, the city or area code (where required) in
parentheses, and the local number. The one component that is not
presented is the international access code, which varies from
country to country. For example, an international direct dial
telephone call placed from the US to Madrid, Spain, would be as
follows: 011 [34] (1) 577-xxxx, where 011 is the international
access code for station-to-station calls; 01 is for calls other than
station-to-station calls, [34] is the country code for Spain, (1) is
the city code for Madrid, 577 is the local exchange, and xxxx is the
local telephone number. An international direct dial telephone call
placed from another country to the US would be as follows:
international access code + [1] (202) 939-xxxx, where [ 1] is the
country code for the US, (202) is the area code for Washington, DC,
939 is the local exchange, and xxxx is the local telephone number.

Telephone system

This entry includes a brief general assessment of the system with
details on the domestic and international components. The following
terms and abbreviations are used throughout the entry:
Arabsat - Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Riyadh, Saudi
Arabia).
Autodin - Automatic Digital Network (US Department of Defense).
CB - citizen's band mobile radio communications.
Cellular telephone system - the telephones in this system are radio
transceivers, with each instrument having its own private radio
frequency and sufficient radiated power to reach the booster station
in its area (cell), from which the telephone signal is fed to a
telephone exchange.
Central American Microwave System - a trunk microwave radio relay
system that links the countries of Central America and Mexico with
each other.
Coaxial cable - a multichannel communication cable consisting of a
central conducting wire, surrounded by and insulated from a
cylindrical conducting shell; a large number of telephone channels
can be made available within the insulated space by the use of a
large number of carrier frequencies.
Comsat - Communications Satellite Corporation (US).
DSN - Defense Switched Network (formerly Automatic Voice Network or
Autovon); basic general-purpose, switched voice network of the
Defense Communications System (US Department of Defense).
Eutelsat - European Telecommunications Satellite Organization
(Paris).
Fiber-optic cable - a multichannel communications cable using a
thread of optical glass fibers as a transmission medium in which the
signal (voice, video, etc.) is in the form of a coded pulse of light.
GSM - a global system for mobile (cellular) communications devised
by the Groupe Special Mobile of the pan-European standardization
organization, Conference Europeanne des Posts et Telecommunications
(CEPT) in 1982.
HF - high frequency; any radio frequency in the 3,000- to 30,000-kHz
range.
Inmarsat - International Maritime Satellite Organization (London);
provider of global mobile satellite communications for commercial,
distress, and safety applications at sea, in the air, and on land.
Intelsat - International Telecommunications Satellite Organization
(Washington, DC).
Intersputnik - International Organization of Space Communications
(Moscow); first established in the former Soviet Union and the East
European countries, it is now marketing its services worldwide with
earth stations in North America, Africa, and East Asia.
Landline - communication wire or cable of any sort that is installed
on poles or buried in the ground.
Marecs - Maritime European Communications Satellite used in the
Inmarsat system on lease from the European Space Agency.
Marisat - satellites of the Comsat Corporation that participate in
the Inmarsat system.
Medarabtel - the Middle East Telecommunications Project of the
International Telecommunications Union (ITU) providing a modern
telecommunications network, primarily by microwave radio relay,
linking Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Saudi
Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen; it was initially
started in Morocco in 1970 by the Arab Telecommunications Union
(ATU) and was known at that time as the Middle East Mediterranean
Telecommunications Network.
Microwave radio relay - transmission of long distance telephone
calls and television programs by highly directional radio microwaves
that are received and sent on from one booster station to another on
an optical path.
NMT - Nordic Mobile Telephone; an analog cellular telephone system
that was developed jointly by the national telecommunications
authorities of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland,
Norway, and Sweden).
Orbita - a Russian television service; also the trade name of a
packet-switched digital telephone network.
Radiotelephone communications - the two-way transmission and
reception of sounds by broadcast radio on authorized frequencies
using telephone handsets.
PanAmSat - PanAmSat Corporation (Greenwich, CT).
SAFE - South African Far East Cable
Satellite communication system - a communication system consisting
of two or more earth stations and at least one satellite that
provide long distance transmission of voice, data, and television;
the system usually serves as a trunk connection between telephone
exchanges; if the earth stations are in the same country, it is a
domestic system.
Satellite earth station - a communications facility with a microwave
radio transmitting and receiving antenna and required receiving and
transmitting equipment for communicating with satellites.
Satellite link - a radio connection between a satellite and an earth
station permitting communication between them, either one-way (down
link from satellite to earth station - television receive-only
transmission) or two-way (telephone channels).
SHF - super high frequency; any radio frequency in the 3,000- to
30,000-MHz range.
Shortwave - radio frequencies (from 1.605 to 30 MHz) that fall above
the commercial broadcast band and are used for communication over
long distances.
Solidaridad - geosynchronous satellites in Mexico's system of
international telecommunications in the Western Hemisphere.
Statsionar - Russia's geostationary system for satellite
telecommunications.
Submarine cable - a cable designed for service under water.
TAT - Trans-Atlantic Telephone; any of a number of high-capacity
submarine coaxial telephone cables linking Europe with North America.
Telefax - facsimile service between subscriber stations via the
public switched telephone network or the international Datel network.
Telegraph - a telecommunications system designed for unmodulated
electric impulse transmission.
Telex - a communication service involving teletypewriters connected
by wire through automatic exchanges.
Tropospheric scatter - a form of microwave radio transmission in
which the troposphere is used to scatter and reflect a fraction of
the incident radio waves back to earth; powerful, highly directional
antennas are used to transmit and receive the microwave signals;
reliable over-the-horizon communications are realized for distances
up to 600 miles in a single hop; additional hops can extend the
range of this system for very long distances.
Trunk network - a network of switching centers, connected by
multichannel trunk lines.
UHF - ultra high frequency; any radio frequency in the 300- to
3,000-MHz range.
VHF - very high frequency; any radio frequency in the 30- to 300-MHz
range.

Telephones - main lines in use

This entry gives the total number of main telephone lines in use.

Telephones - mobile cellular

This entry gives the total number of mobile cellular telephone
subscribers.

Television broadcast stations

This entry gives the total number of separate broadcast stations
plus any repeater stations.


Terminology

Due to the highly structured nature of the Factbook database, some
collective generic terms have to be used. For example, the word
Country in the Country name entry refers to a wide variety of
dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, uninhabited islands, and
other entities in addition to the traditional countries or
independent states. Military is also used as an umbrella term for
various civil defense, security, and defense activities in many
entries. The Independence entry includes the usual colonial
independence dates and former ruling states as well as other
significant nationhood dates such as the traditional founding date
or the date of unification, federation, confederation,
establishment, or state succession that are not strictly
independence dates. Dependent areas have the nature of their
dependency status noted in this same entry.

Terrain

This entry contains a brief description of the topography.


Time difference

This entry is expressed in The World Factbook in two ways. First, it
is stated as the difference in hours between the capital of an
entity and Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) during Standard Time.
Additionally, the difference in time between the capital of an
entity and that observed in Washington, D.C. is also provided. Note
that the time difference assumes both locations are simultaneously
observing Standard Time or Daylight Saving Time.


Time zones

Ten countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Kazakhstan,
Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, and the United States) and the
island of Greenland observe more than one official time depending on
the number of designated time zones within their boundaries. An
illustration of time zones throughout the world and within countries
can be seen in the Standard Time Zones of the World map included in
the Reference Maps section of The World Factbook.

Total fertility rate

This entry gives a figure for the average number of children that
would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of their
childbearing years and bore children according to a given fertility
rate at each age. The total fertility rate (TFR) is a more direct
measure of the level of fertility than the crude birth rate, since
it refers to births per woman. This indicator shows the potential
for population change in the country. A rate of two children per
woman is considered the replacement rate for a population, resulting
in relative stability in terms of total numbers. Rates above two
children indicate populations growing in size and whose median age
is declining. Higher rates may also indicate difficulties for
families, in some situations, to feed and educate their children and
for women to enter the labor force. Rates below two children
indicate populations decreasing in size and growing older. Global
fertility rates are in general decline and this trend is most
pronounced in industrialized countries, especially Western Europe,
where populations are projected to decline dramatically over the
next 50 years.

Total renewable water resources

This entry provides the long-term average water availability for a
country in cubic kilometers of precipitation, recharged ground
water, and surface inflows from surrounding countries. The values
have been adjusted to account for overlap resulting from surface
flow recharge of groundwater sources. Total renewable water
resources provides the water total available to a country but does
not include water resource totals that have been reserved for
upstream or downstream countries through international agreements.
Note that these values are averages and do not accurately reflect
the total available in any given year. Annual available resources
can vary greatly due to short-term and long-term climatic and
weather variations.

Trafficking in persons

Trafficking in persons is modern-day slavery, involving victims who
are forced, defrauded, or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation.
The International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN agency charged
with addressing labor standards, employment, and social protection
issues, estimates that 12.3 million people worldwide are enslaved in
forced labor, bonded labor, forced child labor, sexual servitude,
and involuntary servitude at any given time. Human trafficking is a
multi-dimensional threat, depriving people of their human rights and
freedoms, risking global health, promoting social breakdown,
inhibiting development by depriving countries of their human
capital, and helping fuel the growth of organized crime. In 2000,
the US Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act
(TVPA), reauthorized in 2003 and 2005, which provides tools for the
US to combat trafficking in persons, both domestically and abroad.
One of the law's key components is the creation of the US Department
of State's annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which assesses the
government response (i.e., the current situation) in some 150
countries with a significant number of victims trafficked across
their borders who are recruited, harbored, transported, provided, or
obtained for forced labor or sexual exploitation. Countries in the
annual report are rated in three tiers, based on government efforts
to combat trafficking. The countries identified in this entry are
those listed in the 2008 Trafficking in Persons Report as Tier 2
Watch List or Tier 3 based on the following tier rating definitions:
Tier 2 Watch List countries do not fully comply with the minimum
standards for the elimination of trafficking but are making
significant efforts to do so, and meet one of the following criteria:
1. they display high or significantly increasing number of victims,
2. they have failed to provide evidence of increasing efforts to
combat trafficking in persons, or,
3. they have committed to take action over the next year.
Tier 3 countries neither satisfy the minimum standards for the
elimination of trafficking nor demonstrate a significant effort to
do so. Countries in this tier are subject to potential
non-humanitarian and non-trade sanctions.


Transnational issues

This category includes four entries - Disputes - international,
Refugees and internally displaced persons, Trafficking in persons,
and Illicit drugs - that deal with current issues going beyond
national boundaries.


Transportation

This category includes the entries dealing with the means for
movement of people and goods.

Transportation - note

This entry includes miscellaneous transportation information of
significance not included elsewhere.

U


UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)

See entry for Coordinated Universal Time.

Unemployment rate

This entry contains the percent of the labor force that is without
jobs. Substantial underemployment might be noted.

Urbanization

This entry provides two measures of the degree of urbanization of a
population. The first, urban population, describes the percentage of
the total population living in urban areas, as defined by the
country. The second, rate of urbanization, describes the projected
average rate of change of the size of the urban population over the
given period of time. Additionally, the World entry includes a list
of the ten largest urban agglomerations. An urban agglomeration is
defined as comprising the city or town proper and also the suburban
fringe or thickly settled territory lying outside of, but adjacent
to, the boundaries of the city.

W



Waterways

This entry gives the total length of navigable rivers, canals, and
other inland bodies of water.


Weights and Measures

This information is presented in This information is presented in <a
href = "../appendix/appendix-g.html"Appendix G: Weights and Measures
and includes mathematical notations (mathematical powers and names),
metric interrelationships (prefix; symbol; length, weight, or
capacity; area; volume), and standard conversion factors.

Y


Years

All year references are for the calendar year (CY) unless indicated
as fiscal year (FY). The calendar year is an accounting period of 12
months from 1 January to 31 December. The fiscal year is an
accounting period of 12 months other than 1 January to 31 December.


Note: Information for the US and US dependencies was complied from
material in the public domain and does not represent Intelligence
Community estimates.



======================================================================



CIA - The World Factbook -- About :: History




A Brief History of Basic Intelligence and The World Factbook


The Intelligence Cycle is the process by which information is
acquired, converted into intelligence, and made available to
policymakers. Information is raw data from any source, data that may
be fragmentary, contradictory, unreliable, ambiguous, deceptive, or
wrong. Intelligence is information that has been collected,
integrated, evaluated, analyzed, and interpreted. Finished
intelligence is the final product of the Intelligence Cycle ready to
be delivered to the policymaker.


The three types of finished intelligence are: basic, current, and
estimative. Basic intelligence provides the fundamental and factual
reference material on a country or issue. Current intelligence
reports on new developments. Estimative intelligence judges probable
outcomes. The three are mutually supportive: basic intelligence is
the foundation on which the other two are constructed; current
intelligence continually updates the inventory of knowledge; and
estimative intelligence revises overall interpretations of country
and issue prospects for guidance of basic and current intelligence.
The World Factbook, The President's Daily Brief, and the National
Intelligence Estimates are examples of the three types of finished
intelligence.


The United States has carried on foreign intelligence activities
since the days of George Washington but only since World War II have
they been coordinated on a government-wide basis. Three programs
have highlighted the development of coordinated basic intelligence
since that time: (1) the Joint Army Navy Intelligence Studies
(JANIS), (2) the National Intelligence Survey (NIS), and (3)The
World Factbook .


During World War II, intelligence consumers realized that the
production of basic intelligence by different components of the US
Government resulted in a great duplication of effort and conflicting
information. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 brought
home to leaders in Congress and the executive branch the need for
integrating departmental reports to national policymakers. Detailed
and coordinated information was needed not only on such major powers
as Germany and Japan, but also on places of little previous
interest. In the Pacific Theater, for example, the Navy and Marines
had to launch amphibious operations against many islands about which
information was unconfirmed or nonexistent. Intelligence authorities
resolved that the United States should never again be caught
unprepared.


In 1943, Gen. George B. Strong (G-2), Adm. H. C. Train (Office of
Naval Intelligence - ONI), and Gen. William J. Donovan (Director of
the Office of Strategic Services - OSS) decided that a joint effort
should be initiated. A steering committee was appointed on 27 April
1943 that recommended the formation of a Joint Intelligence Study
Publishing Board to assemble, edit, coordinate, and publish the
Joint Army Navy Intelligence Studies (JANIS). JANIS was the first
interdepartmental basic intelligence program to fulfill the needs of
the US Government for an authoritative and coordinated appraisal of
strategic basic intelligence. Between April 1943 and July 1947, the
board published 34 JANIS studies. JANIS performed well in the war
effort, and numerous letters of commendation were received,
including a statement from Adm. Forrest Sherman, Chief of Staff,
Pacific Ocean Areas, which said, "JANIS has become the indispensable
reference work for the shore-based planners."


The need for more comprehensive basic intelligence in the postwar
world was well expressed in 1946 by George S. Pettee, a noted author
on national security. He wrote in The Future of American Secret
Intelligence (Infantry Journal Press, 1946, page 46) that world
leadership in peace requires even more elaborate intelligence than
in war. "The conduct of peace involves all countries, all human
activities - not just the enemy and his war production."


The Central Intelligence Agency was established on 26 July 1947 and
officially began operating on 18 September 1947. Effective 1 October
1947, the Director of Central Intelligence assumed operational
responsibility for JANIS. On 13 January 1948, the National Security
Council issued Intelligence Directive (NSCID) No. 3, which
authorized the National Intelligence Survey (NIS) program as a
peacetime replacement for the wartime JANIS program. Before adequate
NIS country sections could be produced, government agencies had to
develop more comprehensive gazetteers and better maps. The US Board
on Geographic Names (BGN) compiled the names; the Department of the
Interior produced the gazetteers; and CIA produced the maps.


The Hoover Commission's Clark Committee, set up in 1954 to study the
structure and administration of the CIA, reported to Congress in
1955 that: "The National Intelligence Survey is an invaluable
publication which provides the essential elements of basic
intelligence on all areas of the world. There will always be a
continuing requirement for keeping the Survey up-to-date." The
Factbook was created as an annual summary and update to the
encyclopedic NIS studies. The first classified Factbook was
published in August 1962, and the first unclassified version was
published in June 1971. The NIS program was terminated in 1973
except for the Factbook, map, and gazetteer components. The 1975
Factbook was the first to be made available to the public with sales
through the US Government Printing Office (GPO). The Factbook was
first made available on the Internet in June 1997. The year 2009
marks the 62nd anniversary of the establishment of the Central
Intelligence Agency and the 66th year of continuous basic
intelligence support to the US Government by The World Factbook and
its two predecessor programs.





The Evolution of The World Factbook


National Basic Intelligence Factbook produced semiannually until
1980. Country entries include sections on Land, Water, People,
Government, Economy, Communications, and Defense Forces.




1981

Publication becomes an annual product and is renamed The World
Factbook. A total of 165 nations are covered on 225 pages.


1983

Appendices (Conversion Factors, International Organizations) first
introduced.


1984

Appendices expanded; now include: A. The United Nations, B. Selected
United Nations Organizations, C. Selected International
Organizations, D. Country Membership in Selected Organizations, E.
Conversion Factors.


1987

A new Geography section replaces the former separate Land and Water
sections. UN Organizations and Selected International Organizations
appendices merged into a new International Organizations appendix.
First multi-color-cover Factbook.


1988

More than 40 new geographic entities added to provide complete world
coverage without overlap or omission. Among the new entities are
Antarctica, oceans (Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific), and the
World. The front-of-the-book explanatory introduction expanded and
retitled to Notes, Definitions, and Abbreviations. Two new
Appendices added: Weights and Measures (in place of Conversion
Factors) and a Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names. Factbook
size reaches 300 pages.


1989

Economy section completely revised and now includes an Overview
briefly describing a country's economy. New entries added under
People, Government, and Communications.


1990

The Government section revised and considerably expanded with new
entries.


1991

A new International Organizations and Groups appendix added.
Factbook size reaches 405 pages.


1992

Twenty new successor state entries replace those of the Soviet Union
and Yugoslavia. New countries are respectively: Armenia, Azerbaijan,
Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia,
Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine,
Uzbekistan; and Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia
and Montenegro, Slovenia. Number of nations in the Factbook rises to
188.


1993

Czechoslovakia's split necessitates new Czech Republic and Slovakia
entries. New Eritrea entry added after it secedes from Ethiopia.
Substantial enhancements made to Geography section.


1994

Two new appendices address Selected International Environmental
Agreements. The gross domestic product (GDP) of most developing
countries changed to a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis rather
than an exchange rate basis. Factbook size up to 512 pages.


1995

The GDP of all countries now presented on a PPP basis. New appendix
lists estimates of GDP on an exchange rate basis. Communications
category split; Railroads, Highways, Inland waterways, Pipelines,
Merchant marine, and Airports entries now make up a new
Transportation category. The World Factbook is first produced on
CD-ROM.


1996

Maps accompanying each entry now present more detail. Flags also
introduced for nearly all entities. Various new entries appear under
Geography and Communications. Factbook abbreviations consolidated
into a new Appendix A. Two new appendices present a Cross-Reference
List of Country Data Codes and a Cross-Reference List of
Hydrogeographic Data Codes. Geographic coordinates added to Appendix
H, Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names. Factbook size expands
by 95 pages in one year to reach 652.


1997

A special edition for the CIA's 50 th anniversary. A schema or Guide
to Country Profiles introduced. New color maps and flags now
accompany each country profile. Category headings distinguished by
shaded backgrounds. Number of categories expanded to nine -- the
current number -- with the addition of an Introduction (for only a
few countries) and Transnational Issues (which includes
Disputes-international and Illicit drugs). The World Factbook
introduced onto the Internet.


1998

The Introduction category with two entries, Current issues and
Historical perspective, expanded to more countries. Last year for
the production of CD-ROM versions of the Factbook.


1999

Historical perspective and Current issues entries in the
Introduction category combined into a new Background statement.
Several new Economy entries introduced. A new physical map of the
world added to the back-of-the-book reference maps.


2000

A new "country profile" added on the Southern Ocean. The Background
statements dramatically expanded to over 200 countries and
possessions. A number of new Communications entries added.


2001

Background entries completed for all 267 entities in the Factbook.
Several new HIV/AIDS entries introduced under the People category.
Revision begun on individual country maps to include elevation
extremes and a partial geographic grid. Weights and Measures
appendix deleted.


2002

New entry on Distribution of Family income -- Gini index added.
Revision of individual country maps continued (process still
ongoing).


2003

In the Economy category, petroleum entries added for oil production,
consumption, exports, imports, and proved reserves, as well as
natural gas proved reserves.


2004

Additional petroleum entries included for natural gas production,
consumption, exports, and imports. In the Transportation category,
under Merchant marine, subfields added for foreign-owned vessels and
those registered in other countries. Descriptions of the many forms
of government mentioned in the Factbook incorporated into the
Definitions and Notes.


2005

In the People category, a Major infectious diseases field added for
countries deemed to pose a higher risk for travelers. In the Economy
category, entries included for Current account balance, Investment,
Public debt, and Reserves of foreign exchange and gold. The
Transnational issues category expanded to include Refugees and
internally displaced persons. Category headings receive distinctive
colored backgrounds. These distinguishing colors are used in both
the printed and online versions of the Factbook. Size of the printed
Factbook reaches 702 pages.


2006

In the Economy category, national GDP figures now presented at
Official Exchange Rates (OER) in addition to GDP at purchasing power
parity (PPP). Entries in the Transportation section reordered;
Highways changed to Roadways, and Ports and harbors to Ports and
terminals.


2007

In the Government category, the Capital entry significantly expanded
with up to four subfields, including new information having to do
with time. The subfields consist of the name of the capital itself,
its geographic coordinates, the time difference at the capital from
coordinated universal time (UTC), and, if applicable, information on
daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note is
added to highlight those countries with multiple time zones. A
Trafficking in persons entry added to the Transnational issues
category. A new appendix, Weights and Measures, (re)introduced to
the online version of the Factbook.


2008

In the Geography category, two fields focus on the increasingly
vital resource of water: Total renewable water resources and
Freshwater withdrawal. In the Economy category, three fields added
for: Stock of direct foreign investment - at home, Stock of direct
foreign investment - abroad, and Market value of publicly traded
shares. Concise descriptions of the major religions mentioned in the
Factbook included in the Definitions and Notes. Printing of the
Factbook turned over to the Government Printing Office.


2009

In the People category, two new fields provide information on
education in terms of opportunity and resources: School Life
Expectancy and Education expenditures. Additionally, the
Urbanization entry expanded to include all countries. In the Economy
category, five fields added: Central bank discount rate, Commercial
bank prime lending rate, Stock of money, Stock of quasi money, and
Stock of domestic credit. The online Factbook site completely
redesigned with many new features.



======================================================================



About :: Copyright and Contributors


The World Factbook is prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency for
the use of US Government officials, and the style, format, coverage,
and content are designed to meet their specific requirements.
Information is provided by Antarctic Information Program (National
Science Foundation), Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center
(Department of Defense), Bureau of the Census (Department of
Commerce), Bureau of Labor Statistics (Department of Labor), Central
Intelligence Agency, Council of Managers of National Antarctic
Programs, Defense Intelligence Agency (Department of Defense),
Department of Energy, Department of State, Fish and Wildlife Service
(Department of the Interior), Maritime Administration (Department
of Transportation), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
(Department of Defense), Naval Facilities Engineering Command
(Department of Defense), Office of Insular Affairs (Department of
the Interior), Office of Naval Intelligence (Department of Defense),
US Board on Geographic Names (Department of the Interior), US
Transportation Command (Department of Defense), Oil & Gas Journal,
and other public and private sources.

The Factbook is in the public domain. Accordingly, it may be copied
freely without permission of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The official seal of the CIA, however, may NOT be copied without
permission as required by the CIA Act of 1949 (50 U.S.C. section
403m).  Misuse of the official seal of the CIA could result in civil
and criminal penalties.


Citation model:

The World Factbook 2009. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency,
2009.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html


Comments and queries are welcome and may be addressed to:

Central Intelligence Agency
Attn: Office of Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20505
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time
Telephone: [1] (703) 482-0623
FAX: [1] (703) 482-1739



======================================================================




About :: Purchasing


Printed copies of The World Factbook may be obtained from the following:



US Government Printing Office
732 N. Capitol St.
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General ::



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Data availability  Researchers may obtain specific country data at
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Assessment  Researchers can differ in their assessment of data
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Why doesn't The World Factbook include information on states,
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The World Factbook provides national-level information on countries,
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Is it possible to access older editions of The World Factbook to do
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Geography ::



Why can't I find a geographic name for a particular country?

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Why are Taiwan and the European Union listed out of alphabetical
order at the end of the Factbook entries?

Taiwan is listed after the A-Z country entries because even though
the mainland People's Republic of China claims Taiwan, elected
Taiwanese authorities de facto administer the island and reject
mainland sovereignty claims. With the establishment of diplomatic
relations with China on January 1, 1979, the US Government
recognized the People's Republic of China as the sole legal
government of China, acknowledging the Chinese position that there
is only one China and that Taiwan is part of China.

The European Union (EU) is not a country, but it has taken on many
nation-like attributes and these may be expanded in the future. A
more complete explanation on the inclusion of the EU into the
Factbook can be found in the Preliminary statement.



Since we have an ambassador who represents the US at the Vatican,
why is this entity not listed in the Factbook?

Vatican City is found under Holy See. The term "Holy See" refers to
the authority and sovereignty vested in the Pope and his advisors to
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recognized under international law as a sovereign state, but it does
not send or receive diplomatic representatives. Consequently, Holy
See is included as a Factbook entry, with Vatican City
cross-referenced in the Geographic Names appendix.



Why is Palestine not listed in The World Factbook?

The Palestinian areas of Gaza Strip and West Bank are listed in the
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Why are the Golan Heights not shown as part of Israel or Northern
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Territorial occupations/annexations not recognized by the United
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Why don't you include information on entities such as Tibet or
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The World Factbook provides information on the administrative
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that develops policies, principles, and procedures governing the
spelling, use, and application of geographic names - domestic,
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Also included in the Factbook are entries on parts of the world
whose status has not yet been resolved (e.g., West Bank, Spratly
Islands). Specific regions within a country or areas in dispute
among countries are not covered.



What do you mean when you say that a country is "doubly landlocked"?

A doubly landlocked country is one that is separated from an ocean
or an ocean-accessible sea by two intervening countries. Uzbekistan
and Liechtenstein are the only countries that fit this definition.




Why is the area of the United States described as "slightly larger
than China" in the Factbook , while other sources list China as
larger in area than the United States?

It all depends on whether one is looking at total area (land and
water) when making the comparison (which is the criterion used by
the Factbook) or just land area (which excludes inland water
features such as rivers and lakes).

Total area (combining land and water)

United States = 9,826,630 sq km
China = 9,596,960 sq km

Land only (without any water features)

United States = 9,161,923 sq km
China = 9,326,410 sq km



Why has The World Factbook dropped the four French departments of
Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, and French Guiana?

The four entities are no longer in The World Factbook because their
status has changed. While they are overseas departments of France,
they are also now recognized as French regions, having equal status
to the 22 metropolitan regions that make up European France. In
other words, they are now recognized as being part of France proper.
Their status is somewhat analogous to Alaska and Hawaii vis-a-vis
the contiguous United States. Although separated from the larger
geographic entity, they are still considered to be an integral part
of it.





Photos ::



Why do you not have pictures for every country?

Inclusion of photos in The World Factbook is a new feature that
premiered with the unveiling of the redesigned online World Factbook
in June 2009. This is a long-term project, and we plan to
continuously add more photos to the site over time. Eventually, we
hope to have images for every country in the Factbook.



Could you include photos of people from different locations around
the world?

Factbook policy is to not include photos showing identifiable
individuals.



I have great travel photos from my trips abroad. Can I submit them
to your web site to enhance your photo collection?

We appreciate the many offers from the public to contribute to our
photo collection. However, we only use photos from US Government
sources.



Can I use a photo in a report I'm writing?

Yes! All photos in The World Factbook are in the public domain.





Spelling and Pronunciation ::



Why is the spelling of proper names such as rulers, presidents, and
prime ministers in The World Factbook different than their spelling
in my country?

The Factbook staff applies the names and spellings from the Chiefs
of State link on the CIA Web site. The World Factbook is prepared
using the standard American English computer keyboard and does not
use any special characters, symbols, or most diacritical markings in
its spellings. Surnames are always spelled with capital letters;
they may appear first in some cultures.



Why does the spelling of geographic names, features, cities,
administrative divisions, etc. in the Factbook differ from those
used in my country?

The United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN) recommends and
approves names and spellings. The BGN is the component of the United
States Government that develops policies, principles, and procedures
governing the spelling, use, and application of geographic names -
domestic, foreign, Antarctic, and undersea. Its decisions enable all
departments and agencies of the US Government to use uniform names
of geographic features. (A note is usually included where changes
may have occurred but have not yet been approved by the BGN). The
World Factbook is prepared using the standard American English
computer keyboard and does not use any special characters, symbols,
or most diacritical markings in its spellings.



Why does The World Factbook omit pronunciations of country or leader
names?

There are too many variations in pronunciation among
English-speaking countries, not to mention English renditions of
non-English names, for pronunciations to be included. American
English pronunciations are included for some countries such as Qatar
and Kiribati.



Why is the name of the Labour party misspelled?

When American and British spellings of common English words differ,
The World Factbook always uses the American spelling, even when
these common words form part of a proper name in British English.




Policies and Procedures ::



What is The World Factbook's source for a specific subject field?

The Factbook staff uses many different sources to publish what we
judge are the most reliable and consistent data for any particular
category. Space considerations preclude a listing of these various
sources.



The names of some geographic features provided in the Factbook
differ from those used in other publications. For example, in Asia
the Factbook has Burma as the country name, but in other
publications Myanmar is used; also, the Factbook uses Sea of Japan
whereas other publications label it East Sea. What is your policy on
naming geographic features?

The Factbook staff follows the guidance of the United States Board
on Geographic Names (BGN). The BGN is the component of the United
States Government that develops policies, principles, and procedures
governing the spelling, use, and application of geographic names -
domestic, foreign, Antarctic, and undersea. Its decisions enable all
departments and agencies of the US Government to have access to
uniform names of geographic features. The position of the BGN is
that the names Burma and Sea of Japan be used in official US
Government maps and publications.



Why is most of the statistical information in the Factbook given in
metric units, rather than the units standard to US measure?

US Federal agencies are required by the Metric Conversion Act of
1975 (Public Law 94-168) and by Executive Order 12770 of July 1991
to use the International System of Units, commonly referred to as
the metric system or SI. In addition, the metric system is used by
over 95 percent of the world's population.



Why don't you include information on minimum and maximum temperature
extremes?

The Factbook staff judges that this information would only be useful
for some (generally smaller) countries. Larger countries can have
large temperature extremes that do not represent the landmass as a
whole.



What information sources are used for the country flags?

Flag designs used in The World Factbook are based on various
national and vexillological sources.



Why do your GDP (Gross Domestic Product) statistics differ from
other sources?

We have two sets of GDP dollar estimates in The World Factbook , one
derived from purchasing power parity (PPP) calculations and the
other derived from official exchange rates (OER). Other sources
probably use one of the two. See the Definitions and Notes section
on GDP and GDP methodology for more information.



On the CIA Web site, Chiefs of State is updated weekly, but the last
update for the Factbook was an earlier date. Why the discrepancy?

Although Chiefs of State and The World Factbook both appear on the
CIA Web site, they are produced and updated by separate staffs.
Chiefs of State includes fewer countries but more leaders, and is
updated more frequently than The World Factbook, which has a much
larger database, and includes all countries.



Some percentage distributions do not add to 100. Why not?

Because of rounding, percentage distributions do not always add
precisely to 100%. Rounding of numbers always results in a loss of
precision - i.e., error. This error becomes apparent when percentage
data are totaled, as the following two examples show:




                  Original Data         Rounded to whole integer

Example 1             43.2                       43
                      30.4                       30
                      26.4                       26
                      ----                       --
                     100.0                       99

Example 2             42.8                       43
                      31.6                       32
                      25.6                       26
                      ----                       --
                     100.0                      101


When this occurs, we do not force the numbers to add exactly to 100,
because doing so would introduce additional error into the
distribution.



What rounding convention does The World Factbook use?

In deciding on the number of digits to present,The Factbook staff
assesses the accuracy of the original data and the needs of US
Government officials. All of the economic data are processed by
computer - either at the source or by the Factbook staff. The
economic data presented in The Factbook, therefore, follow the
rounding convention used by virtually all numerical software
applications, namely, any digit followed by a "5" is rounded up to
the next higher digit, no matter whether the original digit is even
or odd. Thus, for example, when rounded to the nearest integer, 2.5
becomes 3, rather than 2, as occurred in some pre-computer rounding
systems.



Why do you list "Independence" dates for countries such as France,
Germany, and the United Kingdom?

For most countries, this entry presents the date that sovereignty
was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For
other countries, the date may be some other significant nationhood
event such as the traditional founding date or the date of
unification, federation, confederation, establishment, or state
succession and so may not strictly be an "Independence" date.
Dependent entities have the nature of their dependency status noted
in this same entry.





Technical ::



Does The World Factbook comply with Section 508 of the
Rehabilitation Act regarding accessibility of Web pages?

The World Factbook home page has a link entitled "Text/Low Bandwidth
Version." The country data in the text version is fully accessible.
We believe The World Factbook is compliant with the Section 508 law.
If you are experiencing difficulty, please use our comment form to
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work with our technical support staff to find and implement a
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I am using the Factbook online and it is not working. What is wrong?

Hundreds of "Factbook" look-alikes exist on the Internet. You can
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official site.



When I attempt to download a PDF (Portable Document Format) map file
(or some other map) the file has no image. Can you fix this?

Some of the files on The World Factbook Web site are large and could
take several minutes to download on a dial-up connection. The screen
might be blank during the download process.



When I open a map on The World Factbook site, it is fuzzy or
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Adjusting the resolution setting on your monitor should correct this
problem.



Is The World Factbook country data available in machine-readable
format? All I can find is HTML, but I'm looking for simple tabular
data.

The Factbook Web site now features Country Comparison pages for
selected Factbook entries. All of the Country Comparison pages can
be downloaded as tab-delimited data files that can be opened in
other applications such as spreadsheets and databases.






The online Factbook is updated bi-weekly. ISSN 1553-8133
For additional information on government leaders in selected foreign
countries, go to World Leaders.



======================================================================





@Afghanistan  (South Asia)

Introduction ::Afghanistan




Background:


Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded
Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the
British and Russian empires until it won independence from notional
British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a
1973 coup and a 1978 Communist counter-coup. The Soviet Union
invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan Communist regime,
touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989
under relentless pressure by internationally supported
anti-Communist mujahedin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars
saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline
Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the
country's civil war and anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001
terrorist attacks in New York City, a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban
Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering
Osama BIN LADIN. The UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001
established a process for political reconstruction that included the
adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and
National Assembly elections in 2005. In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI
became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan and
the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December.
Despite gains toward building a stable central government, a
resurgent Taliban and continuing provincial instability -
particularly in the south and the east - remain serious challenges
for the Afghan Government.







Geography ::Afghanistan




Location:


Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran



Geographic coordinates:


33 00 N, 65 00 E



Map references:


Asia



Area:


total: 652,230 sq km
country comparison to the world: 41
land: 652,230 sq km

water: 0 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than Texas



Land boundaries:


total: 5,529 km

border countries: China 76 km, Iran 936 km, Pakistan 2,430 km,
Tajikistan 1,206 km, Turkmenistan 744 km, Uzbekistan 137 km



Coastline:


0 km (landlocked)



Maritime claims:


none (landlocked)



Climate:


arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers



Terrain:


mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Amu Darya 258 m

highest point: Nowshak 7,485 m



Natural resources:


natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites,
sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones



Land use:


arable land: 12.13%

permanent crops: 0.21%

other: 87.66% (2005)



Irrigated land:


27,200 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


65 cu km (1997)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 23.26 cu km/yr (2%/0%/98%)

per capita: 779 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding;
droughts



Environment - current issues:


limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of
potable water; soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of
the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building
materials); desertification; air and water pollution



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer
Protection

signed, but not ratified: Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine
Life Conservation



Geography - note:


landlocked; the Hindu Kush mountains that run northeast to southwest
divide the northern provinces from the rest of the country; the
highest peaks are in the northern Vakhan (Wakhan Corridor)







People ::Afghanistan




Population:


28.396 million (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
note: this is a significantly revised figure; the previous estimate
of 33,609,937 was extrapolated from the last Afghan census held in
1979, which was never completed because of the Soviet invasion; a
new Afghan census is scheduled to take place in 2010



Age structure:


0-14 years: 44.5% (male 7,664,670/female 7,300,446)

15-64 years: 53% (male 9,147,846/female 8,679,800)

65 years and over: 2.4% (male 394,572/female 422,603) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 17.6 years

male: 17.6 years

female: 17.6 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


2.629% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28


Birth rate:


45.46 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4


Death rate:


19.18 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8


Net migration rate:


21 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2


Urbanization:


urban population: 24% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 5.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female

total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 151.95 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 3
male: 156.01 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 147.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 44.64 years
country comparison to the world: 214
male: 44.47 years

female: 44.81 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


6.53 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


0.01% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


NA



HIV/AIDS - deaths:


NA



Major infectious diseases:


degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne disease: malaria

animal contact disease: rabies

note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in
this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases
possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)



Nationality:


noun: Afghan(s)

adjective: Afghan



Ethnic groups:


Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%,
Baloch 2%, other 4%



Religions:


Sunni Muslim 80%, Shia Muslim 19%, other 1%



Languages:


Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashto (official) 35%, Turkic
languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages
(primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 28.1%

male: 43.1%

female: 12.6% (2000 est.)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 8 years

male: 11 years

female: 4 years (2004)



Education expenditures:


NA







Government ::Afghanistan




Country name:


conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

conventional short form: Afghanistan

local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Afghanestan

local short form: Afghanestan

former: Republic of Afghanistan



Government type:


Islamic republic



Capital:


name: Kabul

geographic coordinates: 34 31 N, 69 11 E

time difference: UTC+4.5 (9.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)



Administrative divisions:


34 provinces (welayat, singular - welayat); Badakhshan, Badghis,
Baghlan, Balkh, Bamyan, Daykundi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghor,
Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabul, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar,
Kunduz, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Nuristan, Paktika,
Paktiya, Panjshir, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-e Pul, Takhar, Uruzgan,
Wardak, Zabul



Independence:


19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)



National holiday:


Independence Day, 19 August (1919)



Constitution:


new constitution drafted 14 December 2003-4 January 2004; signed 16
January 2004; ratified 26 January 2004



Legal system:


based on mixed civil and Sharia law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); First Vice President Ahmad Zia
MASOOD; Second Vice President Abdul Karim KHALILI (since 7 December
2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of
government; former King ZAHIR Shah held the honorific, "Father of
the Country," and presided symbolically over certain occasions but
lacked any governing authority; the honorific is not hereditary;
King ZAHIR Shah died on 23 July 2007

head of government: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); First Vice President Ahmad Zia
MASOOD; Second Vice President Abdul Karim KHALILI (since 7 December
2004)

cabinet: 25 ministers; note - under the new constitution, ministers
are appointed by the president and approved by the National Assembly

elections: the president and two vice presidents are elected by
direct vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); if no
candidate receives 50% or more of the vote in the first round of
voting, the two candidates with the most votes will participate in a
second round; a president can only be elected for two terms;
election last held 20 August 2009 (next to be held in 2014)

election results: Hamid KARZAI reelected president; percent of vote
- Hamid KARZAI 54.6%, Abdullah ABDULLAH 27.8%, Ramazan BASHARDOST
9.2%, Ashraf GHANI 2.7% (as reported by the Independent Election
Commission of Afghanistan on 16 September 2009)

note: on 2 November 2009, following the cancellation of the planned
7 November election runoff, the UN-backed Electoral Complaints
Commission officially declared Hamid KARZAI the winner of the 20
August presidential election



Legislative branch:


the bicameral National Assembly consists of the Meshrano Jirga or
House of Elders (102 seats, one-third elected from provincial
councils for four-year terms, one-third elected from local district
councils for three-year terms, and one-third nominated by the
president for five-year terms) and the Wolesi Jirga or House of
People (no more than 249 seats), directly elected for five-year terms

note: on rare occasions the government may convene a Loya Jirga
(Grand Council) on issues of independence, national sovereignty, and
territorial integrity; it can amend the provisions of the
constitution and prosecute the president; it is made up of members
of the National Assembly and chairpersons of the provincial and
district councils

elections: last held 18 September 2005 (next election expected in
2010)

election results: the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) system
used in the election did not make use of political party slates;
most candidates ran as independents



Judicial branch:


the constitution establishes a nine-member Stera Mahkama or Supreme
Court (its nine justices are appointed for 10-year terms by the
president with approval of the Wolesi Jirga) and subordinate High
Courts and Appeals Courts; there is also a minister of justice; a
separate Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission established by
the Bonn Agreement is charged with investigating human rights abuses
and war crimes



Political parties and leaders:


Afghanistan Peoples' Treaty Party [Sayyed Amir TAHSEEN];
Afghanistan's Islamic Mission Organization [Abdul Rasoul SAYYAF];
Afghanistan's Islamic Nation Party [Toran Noor Aqa Ahmad ZAI];
Afghanistan's National Islamic Party [Rohullah LOUDIN];
Afghanistan's Welfare Party [Meer Asef ZAEEFI]; Afghan Social
Democratic Party [Anwarul Haq AHADI]; Afghan Society for the Call to
the Koran and Sunna [Mawlawee Samiullah NAJEEBEE]; Comprehensive
Movement of Democracy and Development of Afghanistan Party [Sher
Mohammad BAZGAR]; Democratic Party of Afghanistan [Tawos ARAB];
Democratic Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Kabir RANJBAR]; Elites People
of Afghanistan Party [Abdul Hamid JAWAD]; Freedom and Democracy
Movement of Afghanistan [Abdul Raqib Jawid KOHISTANEE]; Freedom
Party of Afghanistan [Ilaj Abdul MALEK]; Freedom Party of
Afghanistan [Dr. Ghulam Farooq NEJRABEE]; Hizullah-e-Afghanistan
[Qari Ahmad ALI]; Human Rights Protection and Development Party of
Afghanistan [Baryalai NASRATI]; Islamic Justice Party of Afghanistan
[Mohammad Kabir MARZBAN]; Islamic Movement of Afghanistan [Mohammad
Ali JAWID]; Islamic Movement of Afghanistan Party [Mohammad Mukhtar
MUFLEH]; Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Khalid FAROOQI,
Abdul Hadi ARGHANDIWAL]; Islamic Party of the Afghan Land [Mohammad
Hassan FEROZKHEL]; Islamic People's Movement of Afghanistan [Ilhaj
Said Hussain ANWARY]; Islamic Society of Afghanistan [Ustad
RABBANI]; Islamic Unity of the Nation of Afghanistan Party [Qurban
Ali URFANI]; Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Karim
KHALILI]; Islamic Unity Party of the People of Afghanistan [Ustad
Mohammad MOHAQQEQ]; Labor and Progress of Afghanistan Party
[Zulfiqar OMID]; Muslim People of Afghanistan Party [Besmellah
JOYAN]; Muslim Unity Movement Party of Afghanistan [Wazir Mohammad
WAHDAT]; National and Islamic Sovereignty Movement Party of
Afghanistan [Ahmad Shah AHMADZAI]; National Congress Party of
Afghanistan [Abdul Latif PEDRAM]; National Country Party [Ghulam
MOHAMMAD]; National Development Party of Afghanistan [Dr. Aref
BAKTASH]; National Freedom Seekers Party [Abdul Hadi DABEER];
National Independence Party of Afghanistan [Taj Mohammad WARDAK];
National Islamic Fighters Party of Afghanistan [Amanat NINGARHAREE];
National Islamic Front of Afghanistan [Pir Sayed Ahmad GAILANEE];
National Islamic Moderation Party of Afghanistan [Qara Bik Eized
YAAR]; National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan [Sayed NOORULLAH]

National Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad AKBAREE];
National Movement of Afghanistan [Ahmad Wali MASOOUD]; National
Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Rashid ARYAN]; National Patch of
Afghanistan Party [Sayed Kamal SADAT]; National Peace Islamic Party
of Afghanistan [Shah Mohammood Popal ZAI]; National Peace & Islamic
Party of the Tribes of Afghanistan [Abdul Qaher SHARIATEE]; National
Peace & Unity Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Qader IMAMI]; National
Prosperity and Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Osman
SALEKZADA]; National Prosperity Party [Mohammad Hassan JAHFAREE];
National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan [Pir Sayed Eshaq
GAILANEE]; National Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Sayed Mansoor
NADREEI]; National Sovereignty Party [Sayed Mustafa KAZEMI];
National Stability Party [Mohammad Same KHAROTI]; National Stance
Party [Habibullah JANEBDAR]; National Tribal Unity Islamic Party of
Afghanistan [Mohammad Shah KHOGYANI]; National United Front
[Burhanuddin RABBANI] (a coalition); National Unity Movement [Sultan
Mohammad GHAZI]; National Unity Movement of Afghanistan [Mohammad
Nadir AATASH]; National Unity Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Rashid
JALILI]; New Afghanistan Party [Mohammad Yunis QANUNI]; Peace and
National Welfare Activists Society [Shamsul Haq Noor SHAMS]; Peace
Movement [Shahnawaz TANAI]; People's Aspirations Party of
Afghanistan [Ilhaj Saraj-u-din ZAFAREE]; People's Freedom Seekers
Party of Afghanistan [Feda Mohammad EHSAS]; People's Liberal Freedom
Seekers Party of Afghanistan [Ajmal SUHAIL]; People's Message Party
of Afghanistan [Noor Aqa WAINEE]; People's Movement of the National
Unity of Afghanistan [Abdul Hakim NOORZAI]; People's Party of
Afghanistan [Ahmad Shah ASAR]; People's Prosperity Party of
Afghanistan [Ustad Mohammad ZAREEF]; People's Sovereignty Movement
of Afghanistan [Hayatullah SUBHANEE]; People's Uprising Party of
Afghanistan [Sayed Zahir Qayed Omul BELADI]; People's Welfare Party
of Afghanistan [Mia Gul WASIQ]; People's Welfare Party of
Afghanistan [Mohammad Zubair PAIROZ]; Progressive Democratic Party
of Afghanistan [Wali ARYA]; Republican Party [Sebghatullah SANJAR];
Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Khaleq NEMAT]; The
Afghanistan's Mujahid Nation's Islamic Unity Movement [Saeedullah
SAEED]; The People of Afghanistan's Democratic Movement [Sharif
NAZARI]; Tribes Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Zarif
NASERI]; Understanding and Democracy Party of Afghanistan [Ahamad
SHAHEEN]

United Afghanistan Party [Mohammad Wasil RAHIMEE]; United Islamic
Party of Afghanistan [Wahidullah SABAWOON]; Young Afghanistan's
Islamic Organization [Sayed Jawad HUSSINEE]; Youth Solidarity Party
of Afghanistan [Mohammad Jamil KARZAI]; note - includes only
political parties approved by the Ministry of Justice



Political pressure groups and leaders:


other: religious groups; tribal leaders; ethnically based groups



International organization participation:


ADB, CP, ECO, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, IDA, IDB, IFAD,
IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITSO,
ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), SAARC, SACEP, SCO
(guest), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO,
WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Said Tayeb JAWAD

chancery: 2341 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 483-6410

FAX: [1] (202) 483-6488

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Deputy Ambassador Francis J.
RICCIARDONE, Jr.

embassy: The Great Masood Road, Kabul

mailing address: U.S. Embassy Kabul, APO, AE 09806

telephone: [93] 0700 108 001

FAX: [93] 0700 108 564



Flag description:


three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), red, and green,
with the national emblem in white centered on the red band and
slightly overlapping the other two bands; the center of the emblem
features a mosque with pulpit and flags on either side, below the
mosque are numerals for the solar year 1298 (1919 in the Gregorian
calendar, the year of Afghan independence from the UK); this central
image is circled by a border consisting of sheaves of wheat on the
left and right, in the upper-center is an Arabic inscription of the
Shahada (Muslim creed) below which are rays of the rising sun over
the Takbir (Arabic expression meaning "God is great"), and at bottom
center is a scroll bearing the name Afghanistan







Economy ::Afghanistan




Economy - overview:


Afghanistan's economy is recovering from decades of conflict. The
economy has improved significantly since the fall of the Taliban
regime in 2001 largely because of the infusion of international
assistance, the recovery of the agricultural sector, and service
sector growth. Real GDP growth fell from the 10% level in 2006-07 to
a little more than 3% in 2008. Despite the progress of the past few
years, Afghanistan is extremely poor, landlocked, and highly
dependent on foreign aid, agriculture, and trade with neighboring
countries. Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages
of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs.
Criminality, insecurity, and the Afghan Government's inability to
extend rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to
future economic growth. It will probably take the remainder of the
decade and continuing donor aid and attention to significantly raise
Afghanistan's living standards from its current level, among the
lowest in the world. International pledges made by more than 60
countries and international financial institutions at the Berlin
Donors Conference for Afghan reconstruction in March 2004 reached
$8.9 billion for 2004-09. While the international community remains
committed to Afghanistan's development, pledging over $57 billion at
three donors' conferences since 2002, Kabul will need to overcome a
number of challenges. Expanding poppy cultivation and a growing
opium trade generate roughly $3 billion in illicit economic activity
and looms as one of Kabul's most serious policy concerns. Other
long-term challenges include: budget sustainability, job creation,
corruption, government capacity, and rebuilding war torn
infrastructure.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$22.32 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116
$21.58 billion (2007 est.)

$19.25 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$11.71 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


3.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
12.1% (2007 est.)

8.2% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$800 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 219
$800 (2007 est.)

$700 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 31%

industry: 26%

services: 43%

note: data exclude opium production (2008 est.)



Labor force:


15 million (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 80%

industry: 10%

services: 10% (2004 est.)



Unemployment rate:


40% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
40% (2005 est.)



Population below poverty line:


53% (2003)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%



Budget:


revenues: $890 million

expenditures: $2.7 billion

note: Afghanistan has also received $2.6 billion from the
Reconstruction Trust Fund and $63 million from the Law and Order
Trust Fund (2007 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


13% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180


Commercial bank prime lending rate:


14.92% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 23
18.14% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$1.688 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 73
$1.426 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$1.219 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 92
$958.6 million (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$363.6 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 119
$12.04 million (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA



Agriculture - products:


opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins



Industries:


small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes,
fertilizer, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper



Industrial production growth rate:


NA%



Electricity - production:


839 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150


Electricity - consumption:


1.01 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


230 million kWh (2007 est.)



Oil - production:


0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 209


Oil - consumption:


5,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163


Oil - exports:


0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138


Oil - imports:


4,404 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161


Oil - proved reserves:


0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100


Natural gas - production:


30 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84


Natural gas - consumption:


30 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 206


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69


Natural gas - proved reserves:


49.55 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65


Current account balance:


-$67 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74


Exports:


$327 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 173
$274 million (2006); note - not including illicit exports or
reexports



Exports - commodities:


opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and
pelts, precious and semi-precious gems



Exports - partners:


India 20.5%, Pakistan 18.5%, US 17.2%, Tajikistan 13.3%, Netherlands
7.2% (2008)



Imports:


$4.85 billion (2007)
country comparison to the world: 116
$3.823 billion (2006)



Imports - commodities:


capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products



Imports - partners:


Pakistan 36.9%, US 9.5%, Germany 7.7%, India 5.2% (2008)



Debt - external:


$8 billion (2004)
country comparison to the world: 90


Exchange rates:


afghanis (AFA) per US dollar - 50 (2007), 46 (2006), 47.7 (2005), 48
(2004), 49 (2003)







Communications ::Afghanistan




Telephones - main lines in use:


460,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 100


Telephones - mobile cellular:


8.45 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 69


Telephone system:


general assessment: limited landline telephone service; an
increasing number of Afghans utilize mobile-cellular phone networks
in major cities

domestic: aided by the presence of multiple providers,
mobile-cellular telephone service is improving rapidly

international: country code - 93; five VSAT's installed in Kabul,
Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Kandahar, and Jalalabad provide international
and domestic voice and data connectivity (2007)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 21, FM 5, shortwave 1 (broadcasts in Pashto, Dari (Afghan
Persian), Urdu, and English) (2006)



Television broadcast stations:


at least 7 (1 government-run central television station in Kabul and
regional stations in 6 of the 34 provinces) (2006)



Internet country code:


.af



Internet hosts:


47 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 208


Internet users:


500,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 107


Communications - note:


Internet access is growing through Internet cafes as well as public
"telekiosks" in Kabul (2005)







Transportation ::Afghanistan




Airports:


51 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 90


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 16

over 3,047 m: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 7

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 35

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 4

1,524 to 2,437 m: 16

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 9 (2009)



Heliports:


11 (2009)



Pipelines:


gas 466 km (2008)



Roadways:


total: 42,150 km
country comparison to the world: 87
paved: 12,350 km

unpaved: 29,800 km (2006)



Waterways:


1,200 km (chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to 500 DWT)
(2008)
country comparison to the world: 59


Ports and terminals:


Kheyrabad, Shir Khan







Military ::Afghanistan




Military branches:


Afghan Armed Forces: Afghan National Army (ANA, includes Afghan
National Army Air Corps) (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


22 years of age; inductees are contracted into service for a 4-year
term (2005)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 7,431,147

females age 16-49: 7,004,819 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 4,371,193

females age 16-49: 4,072,945 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 382,720

female: 361,733 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


1.9% of GDP (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84






Transnational Issues ::Afghanistan




Disputes - international:


Pakistan has built fences in some portions of its border with
Afghanistan which remains open in some areas to foreign terrorists
and other illegal activities



Refugees and internally displaced persons:


IDPs: 132,246 (mostly Pashtuns and Kuchis displaced in south and
west due to drought and instability) (2007)



Illicit drugs:


world's largest producer of opium; poppy cultivation decreased 22%
to 157,000 hectares in 2008 but remains at a historically high
level; less favorable growing conditions in 2008 reduced potential
opium production to 5,500 metric tons, down 31 percent from 2007; if
the entire opium crop were processed, 648 metric tons of pure heroin
potentially could be produced; the Taliban and other antigovernment
groups participate in and profit from the opiate trade, which is a
key source of revenue for the Taliban inside Afghanistan; widespread
corruption and instability impede counterdrug efforts; most of the
heroin consumed in Europe and Eurasia is derived from Afghan opium;
vulnerable to drug money laundering through informal financial
networks; regional source of hashish (2008)









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Akrotiri  (Europe)

Introduction ::Akrotiri




Background:


By terms of the 1960 Treaty of Establishment that created the
independent Republic of Cyprus, the UK retained full sovereignty and
jurisdiction over two areas of almost 254 square kilometers -
Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The southernmost and smallest of these is the
Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area, which is also referred to as the
Western Sovereign Base Area.







Geography ::Akrotiri




Location:


Eastern Mediterranean, peninsula on the southwest coast of Cyprus



Geographic coordinates:


34 37 N, 32 58 E



Map references:


Europe



Area:


total: 123 sq km
country comparison to the world: 223
note: includes a salt lake and wetlands



Area - comparative:


about 0.7 times the size of Washington, DC



Land boundaries:


total: 47.4 km

border countries: Cyprus 47.4 km



Coastline:


56.3 km



Climate:


temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters



Environment - current issues:


hunting around the salt lake; note - breeding place for loggerhead
and green turtles; only remaining colony of griffon vultures is on
the base



Geography - note:


British extraterritorial rights also extended to several small
off-post sites scattered across Cyprus; of the Sovereign Base Area
(SBA) land, 60% is privately owned and farmed, 20% is owned by the
Ministry of Defense, and 20% is SBA Crown land







People ::Akrotiri




Population:


approximately 15,700 live on the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri
and Dhekelia including 7,700 Cypriots, 3,600 Service and UK-based
contract personnel, and 4,400 dependents
country comparison to the world: 218


Languages:


English, Greek







Government ::Akrotiri




Country name:


conventional long form: Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area

conventional short form: Akrotiri



Dependency status:


a special form of UK overseas territory; administered by an
administrator who is also the Commander, British Forces Cyprus



Capital:


name: Episkopi Cantonment (base administrative center for Akrotiri
and Dhekelia)

geographic coordinates: 34 40 N, 32 51 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October



Constitution:


Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Order in Council 1960,
effective 16 August 1960, functions as a basic legal document



Legal system:


the Sovereign Base Area Administration has its own court system to
deal with civil and criminal matters; laws applicable to the Cypriot
population are, as far as possible, the same as the laws of the
Republic of Cyprus



Executive branch:


chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)

head of government: Administrator Major General Jamie GORDON (since
October 2008); note - reports to the British Ministry of Defense

elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the administrator is
appointed by the monarch



Diplomatic representation in the US:


none (overseas territory of the UK)



Diplomatic representation from the US:


none (overseas territory of the UK)



Flag description:


the flag of the UK is used







Economy ::Akrotiri




Economy - overview:


Economic activity is limited to providing services to the military
and their families located in Akrotiri. All food and manufactured
goods must be imported.



Exchange rates:


euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.6827

note: on 1 January 2008 Akrotiri and Dhekelia adopted the euro along
with the rest of Cyprus







Communications ::Akrotiri




Radio broadcast stations:


AM NA, FM 1, shortwave NA (British Forces Broadcasting Service
(BFBS) provides Radio 1 and Radio 2 service to Akrotiri, Dhekelia,
and Nicosia) (2006)



Television broadcast stations:


0 (British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) provides multi-channel
satellite service to Akrotiri, Dhekelia, and Nicosia) (2006)








Military ::Akrotiri




Military - note:


Akrotiri has a full RAF base, Headquarters for British Forces
Cyprus, and Episkopi Support Unit










page last updated on July 2, 2009

======================================================================




@Albania  (Europe)

Introduction ::Albania




Background:


Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912,
but was conquered by Italy in 1939. Communist partisans took over
the country in 1944. Albania allied itself first with the USSR
(until 1960), and then with China (to 1978). In the early 1990s,
Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic Communist rule and established
a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as
successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment,
widespread corruption, a dilapidated physical infrastructure,
powerful organized crime networks, and combative political
opponents. Albania has made progress in its democratic development
since first holding multiparty elections in 1991, but deficiencies
remain. International observers judged elections to be largely free
and fair since the restoration of political stability following the
collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997; however, there have been claims
of electoral fraud in every one of Albania's post-communist
elections. In the 2005 general elections, the Democratic Party and
its allies won a decisive victory on pledges to reduce crime and
corruption, promote economic growth, and decrease the size of
government. The election, and particularly the orderly transition of
power, was considered an important step forward. Albania joined NATO
in April 2009 and is a potential candidate for EU accession.
Although Albania's economy continues to grow, the country is still
one of the poorest in Europe, hampered by a large informal economy
and an inadequate energy and transportation infrastructure.







Geography ::Albania




Location:


Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea,
between Greece in the south and Montenegro and Kosovo to the north



Geographic coordinates:


41 00 N, 20 00 E



Map references:


Europe



Area:


total: 28,748 sq km
country comparison to the world: 144
land: 27,398 sq km

water: 1,350 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than Maryland



Land boundaries:


total: 717 km

border countries: Greece 282 km, Macedonia 151 km, Montenegro 172
km, Kosovo 112 km



Coastline:


362 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation



Climate:


mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers;
interior is cooler and wetter



Terrain:


mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m

highest point: Maja e Korabit (Golem Korab) 2,764 m



Natural resources:


petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore,
nickel, salt, timber, hydropower



Land use:


arable land: 20.1%

permanent crops: 4.21%

other: 75.69% (2005)



Irrigated land:


3,530 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


41.7 cu km (2001)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 1.71 cu km/yr (27%/11%/62%)

per capita: 546 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


destructive earthquakes; tsunamis occur along southwestern coast;
floods; drought



Environment - current issues:


deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution from industrial and
domestic effluents



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate
Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


strategic location along Strait of Otranto (links Adriatic Sea to
Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea)







People ::Albania




Population:


3,639,453 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129


Age structure:


0-14 years: 23.1% (male 440,528/female 400,816)

15-64 years: 67.1% (male 1,251,001/female 1,190,841)

65 years and over: 9.8% (male 165,557/female 190,710) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 29.9 years

male: 29.3 years

female: 30.6 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


0.546% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151


Birth rate:


15.29 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138


Death rate:


5.55 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174


Net migration rate:


-4.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160


Urbanization:


urban population: 47% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female

total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 18.62 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 110
male: 19.05 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 18.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 77.96 years
country comparison to the world: 51
male: 75.28 years

female: 80.89 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


2.01 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


NA



HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


NA



HIV/AIDS - deaths:


NA



Nationality:


noun: Albanian(s)

adjective: Albanian



Ethnic groups:


Albanian 95%, Greek 3%, other 2% (Vlach, Roma (Gypsy), Serb,
Macedonian, Bulgarian) (1989 est.)

note: in 1989, other estimates of the Greek population ranged from
1% (official Albanian statistics) to 12% (from a Greek organization)



Religions:


Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%

note: percentages are estimates; there are no available current
statistics on religious affiliation; all mosques and churches were
closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November
1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice



Languages:


Albanian (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek, Vlach,
Romani, Slavic dialects



Literacy:


definition: age 9 and over can read and write

total population: 98.7%

male: 99.2%

female: 98.3% (2001 census)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 11 years

male: 11 years

female: 11 years (2004)



Education expenditures:


2.9% of GDP (2002)
country comparison to the world: 147






Government ::Albania




Country name:


conventional long form: Republic of Albania

conventional short form: Albania

local long form: Republika e Shqiperise

local short form: Shqiperia

former: People's Socialist Republic of Albania



Government type:


emerging democracy



Capital:


name: Tirana (Tirane)

geographic coordinates: 41 19 N, 19 49 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October



Administrative divisions:


12 counties (qarqe, singular - qark); Berat, Diber, Durres, Elbasan,
Fier, Gjirokaster, Korce, Kukes, Lezhe, Shkoder, Tirane, Vlore



Independence:


28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire)



National holiday:


Independence Day, 28 November (1912)



Constitution:


approved by parliament on 21 October 1998; adopted by popular
referendum on 22 November 1998; promulgated 28 November 1998



Legal system:


has a civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction; has accepted jurisdiction of the International
Criminal Court for its citizens



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: President of the Republic Bamir TOPI (since 24 July
2007)

head of government: Prime Minister Sali BERISHA (since 10 September
2005)

cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister,
nominated by the president, and approved by parliament

elections: president elected by the Assembly for a five-year term
(eligible for a second term); four election rounds held between 8
and 20 July 2007 (next election to be held in 2012); prime minister
appointed by the president

election results: Bamir TOPI elected president; Assembly vote,
fourth round (three-fifths majority (84 votes) required): Bamir TOPI
85 votes, Neritan CEKA 5 votes



Legislative branch:


unicameral Assembly or Kuvendi (140 seats; 100 members elected by
direct popular vote and 40 by proportional vote to serve four-year
terms)

elections: last held 3 July 2005 (next to be held in 2009)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PD
56, PS 42, PR 11, PSD 7, LSI 5, other 19

note: Parliament in November 2008 approved an electoral reform
package that will transform the electoral system from a majority
system to a regional proportional system; the code will also
establish an electoral threshold limiting smaller party
representation



Judicial branch:


Constitutional Court, Supreme Court (chairman is elected by the
People's Assembly for a four-year term) and multiple appeals and
district courts



Political parties and leaders:


Agrarian Environmentalist Party or PAA [Lufter XHUVELI]; Christian
Democratic Party or PDK [Nard NDOKA]; Communist Party of Albania or
PKSH [Hysni MILLOSHI]; Democratic Alliance Party or AD [Neritan
CEKA]; Democratic Party or PD [Sali BERISHA]; G99 Political Movement
[Erion VELIAJ]; Liberal Union Party or BLD [Arjan STAROVA]; National
Front Party (Balli Kombetar) or PBK [Artur ROSHI]; New Democratic
Party or PDR [Genc POLLO]; Republican Party or PR [Fatmir MEDIU];
Social Democracy Party of Albania or PDSSh [Paskal MILO]; Social
Democratic Party or PSD [Skender GJINUSHI]; Socialist Movement for
Integration or LSI [Ilir META]; Socialist Party or PS [Edi RAMA];
Socialist Party 1991 [Petro KOCI]; Union for Human Rights Party or
PBDNj [Vangjel DULE]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Citizens Advocacy Office [Kreshnik SPAHIU]; Confederation of Trade
Unions of Albania or KSSH [Kastriot MUCO]; Front for Albanian
National Unification or FBKSH [Gafur ADILI]; Mjaft Movement; Omonia
[Jani JANI]; Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania or BSPSH
[Gezim KALAJA]



International organization participation:


BSEC, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA,
IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO
(correspondent), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, SECI,
UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO,
WMO, WTO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Aleksander SALLABANDA

chancery: 2100 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 223-4942

FAX: [1] (202) 628-7342

consulate(s) general: New York



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador John L. WITHERS, II

embassy: Rruga e Elbasanit, Labinoti #103, Tirana

mailing address: US Department of State, 9510 Tirana Place, Dulles,
VA 20189-9510

telephone: [355] (4) 2247285

FAX: [355] (4) 2232222



Flag description:


red with a black two-headed eagle in the center; the design is
claimed to be that of 15th-century hero George Castriota
SKANDERBERG, who led a successful uprising against the Turks that
resulted in a short-lived independence for some Albanian regions
(1443-1478)







Economy ::Albania




Economy - overview:


Lagging behind its Balkan neighbors, Albania is making the difficult
transition to a more modern open-market economy. Macroeconomic
growth has averaged around 5% over the last five years and inflation
is low and stable. The government has taken measures to curb violent
crime, and recently adopted a fiscal reform package aimed at
reducing the large gray economy and attracting foreign investment.
The economy is bolstered by annual remittances from abroad
representing about 15% of GDP, mostly from Albanians residing in
Greece and Italy; this helps offset the towering trade deficit. The
agricultural sector, which accounts for over half of employment but
only about one-fifth of GDP, is limited primarily to small family
operations and subsistence farming because of lack of modern
equipment, unclear property rights, and the prevalence of small,
inefficient plots of land. Energy shortages because of a reliance on
hydropower, and antiquated and inadequate infrastructure contribute
to Albania's poor business environment and lack of success in
attracting new foreign investment. The completion of a new thermal
power plant near Vlore has helped diversify generation capacity, and
plans to upgrade transmission lines between Albania and Montenegro
and Kosovo would help relieve the energy shortages. Also, with help
from EU funds, the government is taking steps to improve the poor
national road and rail network, a long-standing barrier to sustained
economic growth.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$21.86 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
$20.61 billion (2007 est.)

$19.44 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars

Albania has an informal, and unreported, sector that may be as large
as 50% of official GDP



GDP (official exchange rate):


$12.96 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


6.1% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
6% (2007 est.)

5.5% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$6,000 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
$5,700 (2007 est.)

$5,400 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 20.5%

industry: 19.8%

services: 59.7% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


1.103 million (not including 352,000 emigrant workers) (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 58%

industry: 15%

services: 27% (September 2006 est.)



Unemployment rate:


12.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
13.2% (2007 est.)

note: these are official rates, but actual rates may exceed 30% due
to preponderance of near-subsistence farming



Population below poverty line:


25% (2004 est.)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 3.2%

highest 10%: 25.9% (2005)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


26.7 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 124


Investment (gross fixed):


23.1% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69


Budget:


revenues: $3.458 billion

expenditures: $4.175 billion (2008 est.)



Public debt:


51.9% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
51.4% of GDP (2007 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


3.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
2.9% (2007 est.)



Central bank discount rate:


6.25% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 69
6.25% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


13.02% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 52
14.1% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$3.028 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 64
$2.707 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$6.251 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 60
$6.433 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$8.176 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 74
$7.247 billion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA



Agriculture - products:


wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes;
meat, dairy products



Industries:


food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement,
chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower



Industrial production growth rate:


3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79


Electricity - production:


2.888 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126


Electricity - consumption:


3.603 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


2.475 billion kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


5,985 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93


Oil - consumption:


34,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108


Oil - exports:


748.9 bbl/day (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122


Oil - imports:


24,080 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109


Oil - proved reserves:


199.1 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57


Natural gas - production:


30 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86


Natural gas - consumption:


30 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 205


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204


Natural gas - proved reserves:


849.5 million cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100


Current account balance:


-$1.906 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
-$1.202 billion (2007 est.)



Exports:


$1.345 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
$1.076 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


textiles and footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil;
vegetables, fruits, tobacco



Exports - partners:


Italy 55.9%, Greece 11.6%, China 7.2% (2008)



Imports:


$4.898 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114
$3.999 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals



Imports - partners:


Italy 32.2%, Greece 13.1%, Turkey 7.2%, Germany 6.6%, China 4.5%,
Russia 4.4% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$2.364 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
$2.162 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$1.55 billion (2004)
country comparison to the world: 143


Exchange rates:


leke (ALL) per US dollar - 79.546 (2008 est.), 92.668 (2007), 98.384
(2006), 102.649 (2005), 102.78 (2004)







Communications ::Albania




Telephones - main lines in use:


316,400 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 113


Telephones - mobile cellular:


3.141 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 108


Telephone system:


general assessment: despite new investment in fixed lines, the
density of main lines remains low with roughly 10 lines per 100
people; cellular telephone use is widespread and generally
effective; combined fixed line and mobile telephone density is
approaching 100 telephones per 100 persons

domestic: offsetting the shortage of fixed line capacity, mobile
phone service has been available since 1996; by 2003, two companies
were providing mobile services at a greater density than some of
Albania's neighbors; Internet broadband services initiated in 2005;
Internet cafes are popular in Tirana and have started to spread
outside the capital

international: country code - 355; submarine cable provides
connectivity to Italy, Croatia, and Greece; the Trans-Balkan Line, a
combination submarine cable and land fiber-optic system, provides
additional connectivity to Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Turkey;
international traffic carried by fiber-optic cable and, when
necessary, by microwave radio relay from the Tirana exchange to
Italy and Greece (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 13, FM 46, shortwave 1 (2005)



Television broadcast stations:


65 (3 national, 62 local); 2 cable networks (2005)



Internet country code:


.al



Internet hosts:


14,245 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 110


Internet users:


471,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 109






Transportation ::Albania




Airports:


5 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 176


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2009)



Heliports:


1 (2009)



Pipelines:


gas 339 km; oil 207 km (2008)



Railways:


total: 896 km
country comparison to the world: 96
standard gauge: 896 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)



Roadways:


total: 18,000 km
country comparison to the world: 117
paved: 7,020 km

unpaved: 10,980 km (2002)



Waterways:


43 km (2008)
country comparison to the world: 105


Merchant marine:


total: 24
country comparison to the world: 91
by type: cargo 22, roll on/roll off 2

foreign-owned: 1 (Turkey 1)

registered in other countries: 2 (Panama 2) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Durres, Sarande, Shengjin, Vlore







Military ::Albania




Military branches:


Joint Force Command (includes Land, Naval, and Aviation Brigade
Commands), Joint Support Command (includes Logistic Command),
Training and Doctrine Command (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


19 years of age (2004)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 944,592

females age 16-49: 908,527 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 800,665

females age 16-49: 768,536 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 34,778

female: 31,673 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


1.49% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110






Transnational Issues ::Albania




Disputes - international:


the Albanian Government calls for the protection of the rights of
ethnic Albanians in neighboring countries, and the peaceful
resolution of interethnic disputes; some ethnic Albanian groups in
neighboring countries advocate for a "greater Albania," but the idea
has little appeal among Albanian nationals; the mass emigration of
unemployed Albanians remains a problem for developed countries,
chiefly Greece and Italy



Trafficking in persons:


current situation: Albania is a source country for women and girls
trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation and
forced labor; it is no longer considered a major country of transit;
Albanian victims are trafficked to Greece, Italy, Macedonia, and
Kosovo, with many trafficked onward to Western European countries;
children were also trafficked to Greece for begging and other forms
of child labor; approximately half of all Albanian trafficking
victims are under age 18; internal sex trafficking of women and
children is on the rise

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Albania is on the Tier 2 Watch List
for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat
trafficking in persons in 2007, particularly in the area of victim
protection; the government did not appropriately identify
trafficking victims during 2007, and has not demonstrated that it is
vigorously investigating or prosecuting complicit officials (2008)



Illicit drugs:


increasingly active transshipment point for Southwest Asian opiates,
hashish, and cannabis transiting the Balkan route and - to a lesser
extent - cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe;
limited opium and expanding cannabis production; ethnic Albanian
narcotrafficking organizations active and expanding in Europe;
vulnerable to money laundering associated with regional trafficking
in narcotics, arms, contraband, and illegal aliens









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Algeria  (Africa)

Introduction ::Algeria




Background:


After more than a century of rule by France, Algerians fought
through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962. Algeria's
primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), has
dominated politics ever since. Many Algerians in the subsequent
generation were not satisfied, however, and moved to counter the
FLN's centrality in Algerian politics. The surprising first round
success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991
balloting spurred the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the
second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared
would be an extremist-led government from assuming power. The army
began a crackdown on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin
attacking government targets. The government later allowed elections
featuring pro-government and moderate religious-based parties, but
did not appease the activists who progressively widened their
attacks. The fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw
intense fighting between 1992-98 and which resulted in over 100,000
deaths - many attributed to indiscriminate massacres of villagers by
extremists. The government gained the upper hand by the late-1990s
and FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in
January 2000. However, small numbers of armed militants persist in
confronting government forces and conducting ambushes and occasional
attacks on villages. The army placed Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA in the
presidency in 1999 in a fraudulent election but claimed neutrality
in his 2004 landslide reelection victory. Longstanding problems
continue to face BOUTEFLIKA in his second term, including
large-scale unemployment, a shortage of housing, unreliable
electrical and water supplies, government inefficiencies and
corruption, and the continuing activities of extremist militants.
The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in 2006 merged
with al-Qaida to form al-Qaida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb,
which since has launched an ongoing series of kidnappings and
bombings - including high-profile, mass-casualty suicide attacks
targeted against the Algerian government and Western interests.
Algeria must also diversify its petroleum-based economy, which has
yielded a large cash reserve but which has not been used to redress
Algeria's many social and infrastructure problems.







Geography ::Algeria




Location:


Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco
and Tunisia



Geographic coordinates:


28 00 N, 3 00 E



Map references:


Africa



Area:


total: 2,381,741 sq km
country comparison to the world: 11
land: 2,381,741 sq km

water: 0 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas



Land boundaries:


total: 6,343 km

border countries: Libya 982 km, Mali 1,376 km, Mauritania 463 km,
Morocco 1,559 km, Niger 956 km, Tunisia 965 km, Western Sahara 42 km



Coastline:


998 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 32-52 nm



Climate:


arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along
coast; drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau;
sirocco is a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer



Terrain:


mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow,
discontinuous coastal plain



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Chott Melrhir -40 m

highest point: Tahat 3,003 m



Natural resources:


petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc



Land use:


arable land: 3.17%

permanent crops: 0.28%

other: 96.55% (2005)



Irrigated land:


5,690 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


14.3 cu km (1997)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 6.07 cu km/yr (22%/13%/65%)

per capita: 185 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes; mudslides and
floods in rainy season



Environment - current issues:


soil erosion from overgrazing and other poor farming practices;
desertification; dumping of raw sewage, petroleum refining wastes,
and other industrial effluents is leading to the pollution of rivers
and coastal waters; Mediterranean Sea, in particular, becoming
polluted from oil wastes, soil erosion, and fertilizer runoff;
inadequate supplies of potable water



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


second-largest country in Africa (after Sudan)







People ::Algeria




Population:


34,178,188 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36


Age structure:


0-14 years: 25.4% (male 4,436,591/female 4,259,729)

15-64 years: 69.5% (male 11,976,965/female 11,777,618)

65 years and over: 5.1% (male 798,576/female 928,709) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 26.6 years

male: 26.3 years

female: 26.8 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


1.196% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111


Birth rate:


16.9 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124


Death rate:


4.64 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197


Net migration rate:


-0.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100


Urbanization:


urban population: 65% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 27.73 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 80
male: 30.86 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 24.45 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 74.02 years
country comparison to the world: 92
male: 72.35 years

female: 75.77 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.79 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


0.1%; note - no country specific models provided (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


21,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


fewer than 1,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73


Nationality:


noun: Algerian(s)

adjective: Algerian



Ethnic groups:


Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%

note: almost all Algerians are Berber in origin, not Arab; the
minority who identify themselves as Berber live mostly in the
mountainous region of Kabylie east of Algiers; the Berbers are also
Muslim but identify with their Berber rather than Arab cultural
heritage; Berbers have long agitated, sometimes violently, for
autonomy; the government is unlikely to grant autonomy but has
offered to begin sponsoring teaching Berber language in schools



Religions:


Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%



Languages:


Arabic (official), French, Berber dialects



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 69.9%

male: 79.6%

female: 60.1% (2002 est.)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 13 years (2005)



Education expenditures:


5.1% of GDP (1999)
country comparison to the world: 64






Government ::Algeria




Country name:


conventional long form: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria

conventional short form: Algeria

local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza'iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash
Sha'biyah

local short form: Al Jaza'ir



Government type:


republic



Capital:


name: Algiers

geographic coordinates: 36 45 N, 3 03 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)



Administrative divisions:


48 provinces (wilayat, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Ain Defla, Ain
Temouchent, Alger, Annaba, Batna, Bechar, Bejaia, Biskra, Blida,
Bordj Bou Arreridj, Bouira, Boumerdes, Chlef, Constantine, Djelfa,
El Bayadh, El Oued, El Tarf, Ghardaia, Guelma, Illizi, Jijel,
Khenchela, Laghouat, Mascara, Medea, Mila, Mostaganem, M'Sila,
Naama, Oran, Ouargla, Oum el Bouaghi, Relizane, Saida, Setif, Sidi
Bel Abbes, Skikda, Souk Ahras, Tamanghasset, Tebessa, Tiaret,
Tindouf, Tipaza, Tissemsilt, Tizi Ouzou, Tlemcen



Independence:


5 July 1962 (from France)



National holiday:


Revolution Day, 1 November (1954)



Constitution:


8 September 1963; revised 19 November 1976; effective 22 November
1976; revised 3 November 1988, 23 February 1989, 28 November 1996,
10 April 2002, and 12 November 2008



Legal system:


socialist, based on French and Islamic law; judicial review of
legislative acts in ad hoc Constitutional Council composed of
various public officials including several Supreme Court justices;
has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999)

head of government: Prime Minister Ahmed OUYAHIA (since 23 June 2008)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president

elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term;
note - a November 2008 constitutional amendment abolished
presidential term limits; election last held 9 April 2009 (next to
be held in April 2014); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA reelected president for third
term; percent of vote - Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA 90.2%, Louisa HANOUNE
4.2%, Moussa TOUATI 2.3%, Djahid YOUNSI 1.4%, Ali Fawzi REBIANE less
than 1%, Mohamed SAID less than 1%



Legislative branch:


bicameral Parliament consists of the Council of Nations (Senate)
(144 seats; one-third of the members appointed by the president,
two-thirds elected by indirect vote to serve six-year terms; the
constitution requires half the council to be renewed every three
years) and the National People's Assembly or Al-Majlis Al-Shabi
Al-Watani (389 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve
five-year terms)

elections: National People's Assembly - last held 17 May 2007 (next
to be held in 2012); Council of Nations (Senate) - last held 28
December 2006 (next to be held in 2009)

election results: National People's Assembly - percent of vote by
party - NA; seats by party - FLN 136, RND 61, MSP 52, PT 26, RCD 19,
FNA 13, other 49, independents 33; Council of Nations - percent of
vote by party - NA; seats by party - FLN 29, RND 12, MSP 3, RCD 1,
independents 3, presidential appointees (unknown affiliation) 24;
note - Council seating reflects the number of replaced council
members rather than the whole Council



Judicial branch:


Supreme Court



Political parties and leaders:


Ahd 54 [Ali Fauzi REBAINE]; Algerian National Front or FNA [Moussa
TOUATI]; National Democratic Rally (Rassemblement National
Democratique) or RND [Ahmed OUYAHIA]; National Liberation Front or
FLN [Abdelaziz BELKHADEM, secretary general]; National Reform
Movement or Islah (formerly MRN) [Ahmed ABDESLAM]; Rally for Culture
and Democracy or RCD [Said SADI]; Renaissance Movement or EnNahda
Movement [Fatah RABEI]; Socialist Forces Front or FFS [Hocine Ait
AHMED]; Society of Peace Movement or MSP [Boudjerra SOLTANI];
Workers Party or PT [Louisa HANOUNE]

note: a law banning political parties based on religion was enacted
in March 1997



Political pressure groups and leaders:


The Algerian Human Rights League or LADDH [Hocine ZEHOUANE]; SOS
Disparus [Nacera DUTOUR]



International organization participation:


ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, BIS, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA,
IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS,
IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU,
ITUC, LAS, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC,
OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO,
UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Abdallah BAALI

chancery: 2118 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 265-2800

FAX: [1] (202) 667-2174



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador David D. PEARCE

embassy: 05 Chemin Cheikh Bachir, El-Ibrahimi, El-Biar 16000 Algiers

mailing address: B. P. 408, Alger-Gare, 16030 Algiers

telephone: [213] 770-08-2000

FAX: [213] 21-60-7355



Flag description:


two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and white; a red,
five-pointed star within a red crescent centered over the two-color
boundary; the colors represent Islam (green), purity and peace
(white), and liberty (red); the crescent and star are also Islamic
symbols, but the crescent is more closed than those of other Muslim
countries because the Algerians believe the long crescent horns
bring happiness







Economy ::Algeria




Economy - overview:


The hydrocarbons sector is the backbone of the economy, accounting
for roughly 60% of budget revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of
export earnings. Algeria has the eighth-largest reserves of natural
gas in the world and is the fourth-largest gas exporter; it ranks
15th in oil reserves. Sustained high oil prices in recent years have
helped improve Algeria's financial and macroeconomic indicators.
Algeria is running substantial trade surpluses and building up
record foreign exchange reserves. Algeria has decreased its external
debt to less than 5% of GDP after repaying its Paris Club and London
Club debt in 2006. Real GDP has risen due to higher oil output and
increased government spending. The government's continued efforts to
diversify the economy by attracting foreign and domestic investment
outside the energy sector, however, has had little success in
reducing high unemployment and improving living standards.
Structural reform within the economy, such as development of the
banking sector and the construction of infrastructure, moves ahead
slowly hampered by corruption and bureaucratic resistance.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$233.5 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
$225.6 billion (2007 est.)

$218.8 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$159.7 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


3.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
3.1% (2007 est.)

2.1% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$6,900 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126
$6,800 (2007 est.)

$6,600 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 8.3%

industry: 62.3%

services: 29.4% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


9.464 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture 14%, industry 13.4%, construction and public works 10%,
trade 14.6%, government 32%, other 16% (2003 est.)



Unemployment rate:


12.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
11.8% (2007 est.)



Population below poverty line:


23% (2006 est.)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 26.8% (1995)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


35.3 (1995)
country comparison to the world: 86


Investment (gross fixed):


26.1% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43


Budget:


revenues: $70.06 billion

expenditures: $56.04 billion (2008 est.)



Public debt:


8.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
37.4% of GDP (2004 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


4.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
3.5% (2007 est.)



Central bank discount rate:


4% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 123
4% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


8% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 107
8% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$60.91 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 19
$55.43 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$30.36 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 37
$28.59 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$NA (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA



Agriculture - products:


wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep, cattle



Industries:


petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical,
petrochemical, food processing



Industrial production growth rate:


3.2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76


Electricity - production:


34.98 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60


Electricity - consumption:


28.34 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60


Electricity - exports:


273 million kWh (2007 est.)



Electricity - imports:


279 million kWh (2007 est.)



Oil - production:


2.18 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15


Oil - consumption:


299,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41


Oil - exports:


1.891 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12


Oil - imports:


14,320 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128


Oil - proved reserves:


12.2 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16


Natural gas - production:


86.5 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7


Natural gas - consumption:


26.83 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29


Natural gas - exports:


59.67 billion cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 5


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205


Natural gas - proved reserves:


4.502 trillion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9


Current account balance:


$35.27 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
$30.6 billion (2007 est.)



Exports:


$78.23 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42
$60.6 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products 97%



Exports - partners:


US 23.9%, Italy 15.5%, Spain 11.4%, France 8%, Netherlands 7.8%,
Canada 6.8% (2008)



Imports:


$39.16 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
$26.4 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods



Imports - partners:


France 16.5%, Italy 11%, China 10.3%, Spain 7.4%, Germany 6.1%, US
5.5% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$143.5 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10
$110.6 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$3.753 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
$3.957 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:


$13.76 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
$11.91 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:


$1.162 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
$962 million (31 December 2007 est.)



Exchange rates:


Algerian dinars (DZD) per US dollar - 63.25 (2008 est.), 69.9
(2007), 72.647 (2006), 73.276 (2005), 72.061 (2004)







Communications ::Algeria




Telephones - main lines in use:


3.314 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 46


Telephones - mobile cellular:


31.871 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 30


Telephone system:


general assessment: a weak network of fixed-main lines, which
remains at roughly 10 telephones per 100 persons, is offset by the
rapid increase in mobile cellular subscribership; in 2008, combined
fixed-line and mobile telephone density surpassed 100 telephones per
100 persons

domestic: privatization of Algeria's telecommunications sector began
in 2000; three mobile cellular licenses have been issued and, in
2005, a consortium led by Egypt's Orascom Telecom won a 15-year
license to build and operate a fixed-line network in Algeria; the
license will allow Orascom to develop high-speed data and other
specialized services and contribute to meeting the large unfulfilled
demand for basic residential telephony; Internet broadband services
began in 2003

international: country code - 213; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4
fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe,
the Middle East, and Asia; microwave radio relay to Italy, France,
Spain, Morocco, and Tunisia; coaxial cable to Morocco and Tunisia;
participant in Medarabtel; satellite earth stations - 51 (Intelsat,
Intersputnik, and Arabsat) (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 25, FM 1, shortwave 8 (1999)



Television broadcast stations:


46 (plus 216 repeaters) (1995)



Internet country code:


.dz



Internet hosts:


510 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 172


Internet users:


4.1 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 51






Transportation ::Algeria




Airports:


143 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 39


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 57

over 3,047 m: 11

2,438 to 3,047 m: 29

1,524 to 2,437 m: 11

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 1 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 86

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 19

914 to 1,523 m: 41

under 914 m: 23 (2009)



Heliports:


2 (2009)



Pipelines:


condensate 1,937 km; gas 14,648 km; liquid petroleum gas 2,933 km;
oil 7,579 km (2008)



Railways:


total: 3,973 km
country comparison to the world: 43
standard gauge: 2,888 km 1.435-m gauge (283 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 1,085 km 1.055-m gauge (2008)



Roadways:


total: 108,302 km
country comparison to the world: 38
paved: 76,028 km (includes 645 km of expressways)

unpaved: 32,274 km (2004)



Merchant marine:


total: 33
country comparison to the world: 83
by type: bulk carrier 6, cargo 8, chemical tanker 1, liquefied gas
9, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 4, roll on/roll off 2

foreign-owned: 18 (Jordan 7, UK 11) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia, Djendjene, Jijel, Mostaganem, Oran,
Skikda







Military ::Algeria




Military branches:


People's National Army (Armee Nationale Populaire, ANP), Land Forces
(Forces Terrestres, FT), Navy of the Republic of Algeria (Marine de
la Republique Algerienne, MRA), Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya
al-Jaza'eriya, QJJ), Territorial Air Defense Force (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


19-30 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript
service obligation - 18 months (6 months basic training, 12 months
civil projects) (2006)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 9,736,757

females age 16-49: 9,590,978 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 8,317,473

females age 16-49: 8,367,005 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 375,852

female: 362,158 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


3.3% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 41






Transnational Issues ::Algeria




Disputes - international:


Algeria, and many other states, rejects Moroccan administration of
Western Sahara; the Polisario Front, exiled in Algeria, represents
the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic; Algeria's border with Morocco
remains an irritant to bilateral relations, each nation accusing the
other of harboring militants and arms smuggling; Algeria remains
concerned about armed bandits operating throughout the Sahel who
sometimes destabilize southern Algerian towns; dormant disputes
include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km still reflected on its
maps of southeastern Algeria and the FLN's assertions of a claim to
Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco



Refugees and internally displaced persons:


refugees (country of origin): 90,000 (Western Saharan Sahrawi,
mostly living in Algerian-sponsored camps in the southwestern
Algerian town of Tindouf)

IDPs: undetermined (civil war during 1990s) (2007)



Trafficking in persons:


current situation: Algeria is a transit country for men and women
trafficked from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe for the purposes of
commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude; Algerian
children are trafficked internally for the purpose of domestic
servitude or street vending

tier rating: Tier 3 - Algeria did not report any serious law
enforcement actions to punish traffickers who force women into
commercial sexual exploitation or men into involuntary servitude in
2007; the government again reported no investigations of trafficking
of children for domestic servitude or improvements in protection
services available to victims of trafficking; Algeria still lacks
victim protection services, and its failure to distinguish between
trafficking and illegal migration may result in the punishment of
victims of trafficking (2008)









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@American Samoa  (Australia-Oceania)

Introduction ::American Samoa




Background:


Settled as early as 1000 B.C., Samoa was "discovered" by European
explorers in the 18th century. International rivalries in the latter
half of the 19th century were settled by an 1899 treaty in which
Germany and the US divided the Samoan archipelago. The US formally
occupied its portion - a smaller group of eastern islands with the
excellent harbor of Pago Pago - the following year.







Geography ::American Samoa




Location:


Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way
between Hawaii and New Zealand



Geographic coordinates:


14 20 S, 170 00 W



Map references:


Oceania



Area:


total: 199 sq km
country comparison to the world: 215
land: 199 sq km

water: 0 sq km

note: includes Rose Island and Swains Island



Area - comparative:


slightly larger than Washington, DC



Land boundaries:


0 km



Coastline:


116 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm



Climate:


tropical marine, moderated by southeast trade winds; annual rainfall
averages about 3 m; rainy season (November to April), dry season
(May to October); little seasonal temperature variation



Terrain:


five volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains,
two coral atolls (Rose Island, Swains Island)



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Lata Mountain 964 m



Natural resources:


pumice, pumicite



Land use:


arable land: 10%

permanent crops: 15%

other: 75% (2005)



Irrigated land:


NA



Natural hazards:


typhoons common from December to March



Environment - current issues:


limited natural fresh water resources; the water division of the
government has spent substantial funds in the past few years to
improve water catchments and pipelines



Geography - note:


Pago Pago has one of the best natural deepwater harbors in the South
Pacific Ocean, sheltered by shape from rough seas and protected by
peripheral mountains from high winds; strategic location in the
South Pacific Ocean







People ::American Samoa




Population:


65,628 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204


Age structure:


0-14 years: 33.4% (male 11,159/female 10,768)

15-64 years: 62.7% (male 20,848/female 20,271)

65 years and over: 3.9% (male 1,211/female 1,371) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 23.1 years

male: 23 years

female: 23.3 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


1.222% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109


Birth rate:


23.31 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76


Death rate:


4.1 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208


Net migration rate:


-6.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170


Urbanization:


urban population: 92% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 10.18 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 153
male: 13.3 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 6.88 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 73.72 years
country comparison to the world: 98
male: 70.8 years

female: 76.82 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


3.29 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


NA



HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


NA



HIV/AIDS - deaths:


NA



Nationality:


noun: American Samoan(s) (US nationals)

adjective: American Samoan



Ethnic groups:


native Pacific islander 91.6%, Asian 2.8%, white 1.1%, mixed 4.2%,
other 0.3% (2000 census)



Religions:


Christian Congregationalist 50%, Roman Catholic 20%, Protestant and
other 30%



Languages:


Samoan 90.6% (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian
languages), English 2.9%, Tongan 2.4%, other Pacific islander 2.1%,
other 2%

note: most people are bilingual (2000 census)



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97%

male: 98%

female: 97% (1980 est.)



Education expenditures:


NA







Government ::American Samoa




Country name:


conventional long form: Territory of American Samoa

conventional short form: American Samoa

abbreviation: AS



Dependency status:


unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US; administered by
the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior



Government type:


NA



Capital:


name: Pago Pago

geographic coordinates: 14 16 S, 170 42 W

time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC during
Standard Time)



Administrative divisions:


none (territory of the US); there are no first-order administrative
divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are three
districts and two islands* at the second order; Eastern, Manu'a,
Rose Island*, Swains Island*, Western



Independence:


none (territory of the US)



National holiday:


Flag Day, 17 April (1900)



Constitution:


ratified 2 June 1966; effective 1 July 1967



Legal system:


NA



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009);
Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)

head of government: Governor Togiola TULAFONO (since 7 April 2003)

cabinet: Cabinet made up of 12 department directors

elections: under the US Constitution, residents of unincorporated
territories, such as American Samoa, do not vote in elections for US
president and vice president; however, they may vote in Democratic
and Republican presidential primary elections; governor and
lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for
four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 4
and 18 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2012)

election results: Togiola TULAFONO reelected governor; percent of
vote - Togiola TULAFONO 56.5%, Afoa Moega LUTU 43.5%



Legislative branch:


bicameral Fono or Legislative Assembly consists of the Senate (18
seats; members are elected from local chiefs to serve four-year
terms)and the House of Representatives (21 seats; 20 members are
elected by popular vote and 1 is an appointed, nonvoting delegate
from Swains Island; members serve two-year terms)

elections: House of Representatives - last held 4 November 2008
(next to be held in November 2010); Senate - last held 4 November
2008 (next to be held in November 2012)

election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by
party - NA; seats by party - NA; Senate - percent of vote by party -
NA; seats by party - independents 18

note: American Samoa elects one nonvoting representative to the US
House of Representatives; election last held on 4 November 2008
(next to be held in November 2010); results - Eni F. H. FALEOMAVAEGA
reelected as delegate



Judicial branch:


High Court (chief justice and associate justices are appointed by
the US Secretary of the Interior)



Political parties and leaders:


Democratic Party [Oreta M. TOGAFAU]; Republican Party [Tautai A. F.
FAALEVAO]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Population Pressure LAS (addresses the growing population pressures)



International organization participation:


Interpol (subbureau), IOC, SPC, UPU



Diplomatic representation in the US:


none (territory of the US)



Diplomatic representation from the US:


none (territory of the US)



Flag description:


blue, with a white triangle edged in red that is based on the fly
side and extends to the hoist side; a brown and white American bald
eagle flying toward the hoist side is carrying two traditional
Samoan symbols of authority, a war club known as a "Fa'alaufa'i"
(upper; left talon), and a coconut fiber fly whisk known as a "Fue"
(lower; right talon); the combination of symbols broadly mimics that
seen on the US Great Seal and reflects the relationship between the
United States and American Samoa







Economy ::American Samoa




Economy - overview:


American Samoa has a traditional Polynesian economy in which more
than 90% of the land is communally owned. Economic activity is
strongly linked to the US with which American Samoa conducts most of
its commerce. Tuna fishing and tuna processing plants are the
backbone of the private sector, with canned tuna the primary export.
Transfers from the US Government add substantially to American
Samoa's economic well being. Attempts by the government to develop a
larger and broader economy are restrained by Samoa's remote
location, its limited transportation, and its devastating
hurricanes. Tourism is a promising developing sector.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$575.3 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 211
$510.1 million (2003 est.)



GDP (official exchange rate):


$462.2 million (2005)



GDP - real growth rate:


3% (2003)
country comparison to the world: 123


GDP - per capita (PPP):


$8,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
$5,800 (2005 est.)



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%



Labor force:


17,630 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 203


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 34%

industry: 33%

services: 33% (1990)



Unemployment rate:


29.8% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 175


Population below poverty line:


NA%



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%



Budget:


revenues: $155.4 million (37% in local revenue and 63% in US grants)

expenditures: $183.6 million (FY07)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


NA%



Agriculture - products:


bananas, coconuts, vegetables, taro, breadfruit, yams, copra,
pineapples, papayas; dairy products, livestock



Industries:


tuna canneries (largely supplied by foreign fishing vessels),
handicrafts



Industrial production growth rate:


NA%



Electricity - production:


185 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178


Electricity - consumption:


172.1 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208


Oil - consumption:


4,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169


Oil - exports:


0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206


Oil - imports:


4,140 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166


Oil - proved reserves:


0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208


Natural gas - production:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208


Natural gas - consumption:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 203


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202


Natural gas - proved reserves:


0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206


Exports:


$445.6 million (FY04 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166


Exports - commodities:


canned tuna 93% (2004 est.)



Imports:


$308.8 million (FY04 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193


Imports - commodities:


materials for canneries 56%, food 8%, petroleum products 7%,
machinery and parts 6% (2004 est.)



Debt - external:


$NA



Exchange rates:


the US dollar is used







Communications ::American Samoa




Telephones - main lines in use:


10,400 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 202


Telephones - mobile cellular:


2,200 (2004)
country comparison to the world: 215


Telephone system:


general assessment: NA

domestic: good telex, telegraph, facsimile, and cellular telephone
services; domestic satellite system with 1 Comsat earth station

international: country code - 1-684; satellite earth station - 1
(Intelsat-Pacific Ocean)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2005)



Television broadcast stations:


1 (2006)



Internet country code:


.as



Internet hosts:


1,606 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 153


Internet users:


NA







Transportation ::American Samoa




Airports:


3 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 194


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 3

over 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2009)



Roadways:


total: 221 km (2007)
country comparison to the world: 205


Ports and terminals:


Pago Pago







Military ::American Samoa




Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 13,875

females age 16-49: 13,517 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 820

female: 802 (2009 est.)



Military - note:


defense is the responsibility of the US







Transnational Issues ::American Samoa




Disputes - international:


Tokelau periodically asserts claims to American Samoa's Swains
Island (Olohega), such as in its 2006 draft independence constitution









page last updated on October 28, 2009

======================================================================




@Andorra  (Europe)

Introduction ::Andorra




Background:


For 715 years, from 1278 to 1993, Andorrans lived under a unique
co-principality, ruled by French and Spanish leaders (from 1607
onward, the French chief of state and the Spanish bishop of Urgel).
In 1993, this feudal system was modified with the titular heads of
state retained, but the government transformed into a parliamentary
democracy. Long isolated and impoverished, mountainous Andorra
achieved considerable prosperity since World War II through its
tourist industry. Many immigrants (legal and illegal) are attracted
to the thriving economy with its lack of income taxes.







Geography ::Andorra




Location:


Southwestern Europe, between France and Spain



Geographic coordinates:


42 30 N, 1 30 E



Map references:


Europe



Area:


total: 468 sq km
country comparison to the world: 195
land: 468 sq km

water: 0 sq km



Area - comparative:


2.5 times the size of Washington, DC



Land boundaries:


total: 120.3 km

border countries: France 56.6 km, Spain 63.7 km



Coastline:


0 km (landlocked)



Maritime claims:


none (landlocked)



Climate:


temperate; snowy, cold winters and warm, dry summers



Terrain:


rugged mountains dissected by narrow valleys



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Riu Runer 840 m

highest point: Coma Pedrosa 2,946 m



Natural resources:


hydropower, mineral water, timber, iron ore, lead



Land use:


arable land: 2.13%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 97.87% (2005)



Irrigated land:


NA



Natural hazards:


avalanches



Environment - current issues:


deforestation; overgrazing of mountain meadows contributes to soil
erosion; air pollution; wastewater treatment and solid waste disposal



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone
Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


landlocked; straddles a number of important crossroads in the
Pyrenees







People ::Andorra




Population:


83,888 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 199


Age structure:


0-14 years: 15.5% (male 6,710/female 6,305)

15-64 years: 72.2% (male 31,604/female 28,925)

65 years and over: 12.3% (male 5,113/female 5,231) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 39.4 years

male: 39.7 years

female: 39.1 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


1.135% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119


Birth rate:


10.35 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 190


Death rate:


5.89 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166


Net migration rate:


6.89 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13


Urbanization:


urban population: 89% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: -0.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.98 male(s)/female

total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 3.76 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 212
male: 3.78 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.74 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 82.51 years
country comparison to the world: 2
male: 80.33 years

female: 84.84 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.33 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


NA



HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


NA



HIV/AIDS - deaths:


NA



Nationality:


noun: Andorran(s)

adjective: Andorran



Ethnic groups:


Spanish 43%, Andorran 33%, Portuguese 11%, French 7%, other 6% (1998)



Religions:


Roman Catholic (predominant)



Languages:


Catalan (official), French, Castilian, Portuguese



Literacy:


definition: NA

total population: 100%

male: 100%

female: 100%



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 11 years

male: 11 years

female: 11 years (2006)



Education expenditures:


2.3% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 162






Government ::Andorra




Country name:


conventional long form: Principality of Andorra

conventional short form: Andorra

local long form: Principat d'Andorra

local short form: Andorra



Government type:


parliamentary democracy (since March 1993) that retains as its
chiefs of state a coprincipality; the two princes are the president
of France and bishop of Seo de Urgel, Spain, who are represented
locally by coprinces' representatives



Capital:


name: Andorra la Vella

geographic coordinates: 42 30 N, 1 31 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October



Administrative divisions:


7 parishes (parroquies, singular - parroquia); Andorra la Vella,
Canillo, Encamp, Escaldes-Engordany, La Massana, Ordino, Sant Julia
de Loria



Independence:


1278 (formed under the joint suzerainty of the French Count of Foix
and the Spanish Bishop of Urgel)



National holiday:


Our Lady of Meritxell Day, 8 September (1278)



Constitution:


Andorra's first written constitution was drafted in 1991; approved
by referendum 14 March 1993; effective 28 April 1993



Legal system:


based on French and Spanish civil codes; no judicial review of
legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: French Coprince Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007);
represented by Philippe MASSONI (since 26 July 2002) and Spanish
Coprince Bishop Joan-Enric VIVES i SICILIA (since 12 May 2003);
represented by Nemesi MARQUES i OSTE (since 30 July 2003)

head of government: Executive Council President Jaume BARTUMEU
Cassany (since 5 June 2009)

cabinet: Executive Council or Govern designated by the Executive
Council president

elections: Executive Council president elected by the General
Council and formally appointed by the coprinces for a four-year
term; election last held 26 April 2009 (next to be held in April-May
2013)

election results: Jaume BARTUMEU CASSANY elected executive council
president; percent of General Council vote - NA



Legislative branch:


unicameral General Council of the Valleys or Consell General de las
Valls (28 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote, 14 from
a single national constituency and 14 to represent each of the seven
parishes; to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held on 26 April 2009 (next to be held in
March-April 2013)

election results: percent of vote by party - PS 45.03%, Reformist
Coaliton 32.34%, Andorra for Change 18.86%, other 3.77%; seats by
party - PS 14, Reformist Coalition 11, Andorra for Change 3



Judicial branch:


Tribunal of Judges or Tribunal de Batlles; Tribunal of the Courts or
Tribunal de Corts; Supreme Court of Justice of Andorra or Tribunal
Superior de Justicia d'Andorra; Supreme Council of Justice or
Consell Superior de la Justicia; Fiscal Ministry or Ministeri
Fiscal; Constitutional Tribunal or Tribunal Constitucional



Political parties and leaders:


Andorra for Change [Juan Eusebio NOMEN CALVET]; New Center [Vicenc
MATEU] (formerly Andorran Democratic Center Party); Liberal Party of
Andorra or PLA [Joan Gabriel i ESTANY] (formerly Liberal Union or
UL); Reformist Coalition (includes the Liberal Party and New Center)
[Joan Gabriel i ESTANY]; Social Democratic Party or PS [Jaume
BARTUMEU CASSANY] (formerly part of National Democratic Group or AND)



Political pressure groups and leaders:


NA



International organization participation:


CE, FAO, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IFRCS, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITU, OIF,
OPCW, OSCE, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, Union Latina, UNWTO, WCO, WHO, WIPO,
WTO (observer)



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Narcis
CASAL FONSDEVIELA

chancery: 2 United Nations Plaza, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10017

telephone: [1] (212) 750-8064

FAX: [1] (212) 750-6630



Diplomatic representation from the US:


the US does not have an embassy in Andorra; the US Ambassador to
Spain is accredited to Andorra; US interests in Andorra are
represented by the Consulate General's office in Barcelona (Spain);
mailing address: Paseo Reina Elisenda de Montcada, 23, 08034
Barcelona, Spain; telephone: [34] (93) 280-2227; FAX: [34] (93)
280-6175



Flag description:


three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red,
with the national coat of arms centered in the yellow band; the coat
of arms features a quartered shield; the flag combines the blue and
red French colors with the red and yellow of Spain to show
Franco-Spanish protection

note: similar to the flags of Chad and Romania, which do not have a
national coat of arms in the center, and the flag of Moldova, which
does bear a national emblem







Economy ::Andorra




Economy - overview:


Tourism, the mainstay of Andorra's tiny, well-to-do economy,
accounts for more than 80% of GDP. An estimated 11.6 million
tourists visit annually, attracted by Andorra's duty-free status and
by its summer and winter resorts. Andorra's comparative advantage
has recently eroded as the economies of neighboring France and Spain
have been opened up, providing broader availability of goods and
lower tariffs. The banking sector, with its partial "tax haven"
status, also contributes substantially to the economy. Agricultural
production is limited - only 2% of the land is arable - and most
food has to be imported. The principal livestock activity is sheep
raising. Manufacturing output consists mainly of cigarettes, cigars,
and furniture. Andorra is a member of the EU Customs Union and is
treated as an EU member for trade in manufactured goods (no tariffs)
and as a non-EU member for agricultural products.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$3.66 billion (2007)
country comparison to the world: 167
$3.588 billion (2006)

$2.77 billion (2005)



GDP (official exchange rate):


$NA



GDP - real growth rate:


2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
3.5% (2005 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$42,500 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 16
$38,800 (2005)



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%



Labor force:


42,230 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 187


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 0.3%

industry: 20.8%

services: 79% (2007)



Unemployment rate:


0% (2007)
country comparison to the world: 1
0% (2006)



Population below poverty line:


NA%



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%



Budget:


revenues: $496.9 million

expenditures: $496.8 million (2007)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


3.9% (2007)
country comparison to the world: 61
3.2% (2005)



Agriculture - products:


small quantities of rye, wheat, barley, oats, vegetables; sheep



Industries:


tourism (particularly skiing), cattle raising, timber, banking,
tobacco, furniture



Industrial production growth rate:


NA%



Electricity - production:


NA kWh



Electricity - consumption:


NA kWh



Electricity - exports:


NA kWh



Electricity - imports:


NA kWh; note - most electricity supplied by Spain and France;
Andorra generates a small amount of hydropower



Exports:


$117.1 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 190
$148.7 million (2005)



Exports - commodities:


tobacco products, furniture



Imports:


$1.789 billion (2007)
country comparison to the world: 155
$1.879 billion (2005)



Imports - commodities:


consumer goods, food, electricity



Debt - external:


$NA



Exchange rates:


euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.6827 (2008 est.), 0.7306 (2007),
0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004)







Communications ::Andorra




Telephones - main lines in use:


37,400 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 173


Telephones - mobile cellular:


64,200 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 189


Telephone system:


general assessment: NA

domestic: modern system with microwave radio relay connections
between exchanges

international: country code - 376; landline circuits to France and
Spain



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 0, FM 1, shortwave 0 (easy access to radio and television
broadcasts originating in France and Spain) (2007)



Television broadcast stations:


1 (2007)



Internet country code:


.ad



Internet hosts:


23,421 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 98


Internet users:


59,100 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 168






Transportation ::Andorra




Roadways:


total: 270 km (1994)
country comparison to the world: 203






Military ::Andorra




Military branches:


no regular military forces, Police Service of Andorra (2008)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 18,685 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 18,617

females age 16-49: 17,613 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 402

female: 373 (2009 est.)



Military - note:


defense is the responsibility of France and Spain







Transnational Issues ::Andorra




Disputes - international:


none









page last updated on October 28, 2009

======================================================================




@Angola  (Africa)

Introduction ::Angola




Background:


Angola is rebuilding its country after the end of a 27-year civil
war in 2002. Fighting between the Popular Movement for the
Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS, and the
National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by
Jonas SAVIMBI, followed independence from Portugal in 1975. Peace
seemed imminent in 1992 when Angola held national elections, but
fighting picked up again by 1996. Up to 1.5 million lives may have
been lost - and 4 million people displaced - in the quarter century
of fighting. SAVIMBI's death in 2002 ended UNITA's insurgency and
strengthened the MPLA's hold on power. President DOS SANTOS held
legislative elections in September 2008, and announced plans to hold
presidential elections in 2009.







Geography ::Angola




Location:


Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Namibia
and Democratic Republic of the Congo



Geographic coordinates:


12 30 S, 18 30 E



Map references:


Africa



Area:


total: 1,246,700 sq km
country comparison to the world: 23
land: 1,246,700 sq km

water: 0 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly less than twice the size of Texas



Land boundaries:


total: 5,198 km

border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,511 km (of
which 225 km is the boundary of discontiguous Cabinda Province),
Republic of the Congo 201 km, Namibia 1,376 km, Zambia 1,110 km



Coastline:


1,600 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm



Climate:


semiarid in south and along coast to Luanda; north has cool, dry
season (May to October) and hot, rainy season (November to April)



Terrain:


narrow coastal plain rises abruptly to vast interior plateau



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Morro de Moco 2,620 m



Natural resources:


petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold,
bauxite, uranium



Land use:


arable land: 2.65%

permanent crops: 0.23%

other: 97.12% (2005)



Irrigated land:


800 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


184 cu km (1987)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 0.35 cu km/yr (23%/17%/60%)

per capita: 22 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


locally heavy rainfall causes periodic flooding on the plateau



Environment - current issues:


overuse of pastures and subsequent soil erosion attributable to
population pressures; desertification; deforestation of tropical
rain forest, in response to both international demand for tropical
timber and to domestic use as fuel, resulting in loss of
biodiversity; soil erosion contributing to water pollution and
siltation of rivers and dams; inadequate supplies of potable water



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone
Layer Protection, Ship Pollution

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


the province of Cabinda is an exclave, separated from the rest of
the country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo







People ::Angola




Population:


12,799,293 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69


Age structure:


0-14 years: 43.5% (male 2,812,359/female 2,759,047)

15-64 years: 53.7% (male 3,496,726/female 3,382,440)

65 years and over: 2.7% (male 153,678/female 195,043) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 18 years

male: 18 years

female: 18 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


2.095% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51


Birth rate:


43.69 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8


Death rate:


24.08 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2


Net migration rate:


1.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51


Urbanization:


urban population: 57% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 4.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 180.21 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 1
male: 192.24 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 167.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 38.2 years
country comparison to the world: 223
male: 37.24 years

female: 39.22 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


6.12 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


2.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


190,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


11,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27


Major infectious diseases:


degree of risk: very high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping
sickness)

water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)



Nationality:


noun: Angolan(s)

adjective: Angolan



Ethnic groups:


Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mestico (mixed European
and native African) 2%, European 1%, other 22%



Religions:


indigenous beliefs 47%, Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15% (1998
est.)



Languages:


Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 67.4%

male: 82.9%

female: 54.2% (2001 est.)



Education expenditures:


2.4% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 159






Government ::Angola




Country name:


conventional long form: Republic of Angola

conventional short form: Angola

local long form: Republica de Angola

local short form: Angola

former: People's Republic of Angola



Government type:


republic; multiparty presidential regime



Capital:


name: Luanda

geographic coordinates: 8 50 S, 13 14 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)



Administrative divisions:


18 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Bengo, Benguela,
Bie, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Cunene,
Huambo, Huila, Luanda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Moxico,
Namibe, Uige, Zaire



Independence:


11 November 1975 (from Portugal)



National holiday:


Independence Day, 11 November (1975)



Constitution:


adopted by People's Assembly 25 August 1992



Legal system:


based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law; modified to
accommodate political pluralism and increased use of free markets;
has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: President Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS (since 21
September 1979); note - the president is both chief of state and
head of government

head of government: President Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS (since 21
September 1979); Antonio Paulo KASSOMA was named prime minister by
MPLA on 26 September 2008

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections: president elected by universal ballot for a five-year
term (eligible for a second consecutive or discontinuous term) under
the 1992 constitution; President DOS SANTOS was selected by the
party to take over after the death of former President Augustino
NETO(1979) under a one-party system and stood for reelection in
Angola's first multiparty elections 29-30 September 1992 (next were
to be held in September 2009 but have been postponed)

election results: Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS 49.6%, Jonas SAVIMBI
40.1%, making a run-off election necessary; the run-off was never
held leaving DOS SANTOS in his current position as the president



Legislative branch:


unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (220 seats;
members elected by proportional vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 5-6 September 2008 (next to be held in
September 2012)

election results: percent of vote by party - MPLA 81.6%, UNITA
10.4%, PRS 3.2%, ND 1.2%, FNLA 1.1%, other 2.5%; seats by party -
MPLA 191, UNITA 16, PRS 8, FNLA 3, ND 2



Judicial branch:


Supreme Court and separate provincial courts (judges are appointed
by the president)



Political parties and leaders:


National Front for the Liberation of Angola or FNLA [Ngola KABANGU];
National Union for the Total Independence of Angola or UNITA
(largest opposition party) [Isaias SAMAKUVA]; Popular Movement for
the Liberation of Angola or MPLA (ruling party in power since 1975)
[Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS]; Social Renewal Party or PRS [Eduardo
KUANGANA]

note: nine other parties participated in the legislative election in
September but won no seats



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda or FLEC [N'zita
Henriques TIAGO, Antonio Bento BEMBE]

note: FLEC's small-scale armed struggle for the independence of
Cabinda Province persists despite the signing of a peace accord with
the government in August 2006



International organization participation:


ACP, AfDB, AU, CPLP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory),
ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU,
ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer),
OPEC, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU,
WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Josefina Perpetua Pitra DIAKITE

chancery: 2108 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 785-1156

FAX: [1] (202) 785-1258

consulate(s) general: Houston, New York



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Dan MOZENA

embassy: number 32 Rua Houari Boumedienne (in the Miramar area of
Luanda), Luanda

mailing address: international mail: Caixa Postal 6468, Luanda;
pouch: US Embassy Luanda, US Department of State, 2550 Luanda Place,
Washington, DC 20521-2550

telephone: [244] (222) 64-1000

FAX: [244] (222) 64-1232



Flag description:


two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and black with a centered
yellow emblem consisting of a five-pointed star within half a
cogwheel crossed by a machete (in the style of a hammer and sickle);
red represents liberty, black the African continent, the symbols
characterize workers and peasants







Economy ::Angola




Economy - overview:


Angola's high growth rate is driven by its oil sector, which has
taken advantage of high international oil prices. Oil production and
its supporting activities contribute about 85% of GDP. Increased oil
production supported growth averaging more than 15% per year from
2004 to 2007. A postwar reconstruction boom and resettlement of
displaced persons has led to high rates of growth in construction
and agriculture as well. Much of the country's infrastructure is
still damaged or undeveloped from the 27-year-long civil war.
Remnants of the conflict such as widespread land mines still mar the
countryside even though an apparently durable peace was established
after the death of rebel leader Jonas SAVIMBI in February 2002.
Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of the
people, but half of the country's food must still be imported. In
2005, the government started using a $2 billion line of credit,
since increased to $7 billion, from China to rebuild Angola's public
infrastructure, and several large-scale projects were completed in
2006. Angola also has large credit lines from Brazil, Portugal,
Germany, Spain, and the EU. The central bank in 2003 implemented an
exchange rate stabilization program using foreign exchange reserves
to buy kwanzas out of circulation. This policy became more
sustainable in 2005 because of strong oil export earnings; it has
significantly reduced inflation. Although consumer inflation
declined from 325% in 2000 to under 13% in 2008, the stabilization
policy has put pressure on international net liquidity. Angola
became a member of OPEC in late 2006 and in late 2007 was assigned a
production quota of 1.9 million barrels a day, somewhat less than
the 2-2.5 million bbl Angola's government had wanted. To fully take
advantage of its rich national resources - gold, diamonds, extensive
forests, Atlantic fisheries, and large oil deposits - Angola will
need to implement government reforms, increase transparency, and
reduce corruption. The government has rejected a formal IMF
monitored program, although it continues Article IV consultations
and ad hoc cooperation. Corruption, especially in the extractive
sectors, and the negative effects of large inflows of foreign
exchange, are major challenges facing Angola.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$112.8 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
$100.5 billion (2007 est.)

$82.94 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$84.95 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


12.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
21.1% (2007 est.)

18.6% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$9,000 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
$8,200 (2007 est.)

$6,900 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 9.2%

industry: 65.8%

services: 24.6% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


7.569 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 85%

industry and services: 15% (2003 est.)



Unemployment rate:


NA



Population below poverty line:


40.5% (2006 est.)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%



Investment (gross fixed):


9% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148


Budget:


revenues: $28.99 billion

expenditures: $21.44 billion (2008 est.)



Public debt:


15.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103
12% of GDP (2007 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


12.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
12.2% (2007 est.)



Central bank discount rate:


19.57% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 8
19.57% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


12.53% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 25
17.7% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$8.446 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 47
$4.153 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$10.41 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 50
$7.216 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$7.893 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 76
$1.166 billion (31 December 2007)



Agriculture - products:


bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc (tapioca),
tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products; fish



Industries:


petroleum; diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, feldspar, bauxite,
uranium, and gold; cement; basic metal products; fish processing;
food processing, brewing, tobacco products, sugar; textiles; ship
repair



Industrial production growth rate:


14.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1


Electricity - production:


3.722 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120


Electricity - consumption:


3.173 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


2.015 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17


Oil - consumption:


64,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90


Oil - exports:


1.407 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18


Oil - imports:


28,090 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103


Oil - proved reserves:


9.04 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18


Natural gas - production:


680 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65


Natural gas - consumption:


680 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 204


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 203


Natural gas - proved reserves:


269.8 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41


Current account balance:


$17.11 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
$9.402 billion (2007 est.)



Exports:


$66.3 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
$44.4 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


crude oil, diamonds, refined petroleum products, coffee, sisal, fish
and fish products, timber, cotton



Exports - partners:


China 33%, US 28.7%, France 6%, South Africa 4.6%, Canada 4.1% (2008)



Imports:


$17.08 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
$13.66 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


machinery and electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts;
medicines, food, textiles, military goods



Imports - partners:


Portugal 17.6%, China 15.7%, US 11.3%, Brazil 7.6%, South Korea
6.8%, South Africa 4.8% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$18.36 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
$11.2 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$14.09 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
$8.357 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:


$16.36 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
$14.51 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:


$2.477 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62


Exchange rates:


kwanza (AOA) per US dollar - 75.023 (2008 est.), 76.6 (2007), 80.4
(2006), 88.6 (2005), 83.541 (2004)







Communications ::Angola




Telephones - main lines in use:


114,300 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 141


Telephones - mobile cellular:


6.773 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 74


Telephone system:


general assessment: system inadequate; fewer than one fixed-line per
100 persons; combined fixed line and mobile telephone density
exceeded 50 telephones per 100 persons in 2008

domestic: state-owned telecom had monopoly for fixed-lines until
2005; demand outstripped capacity, prices were high, and services
poor; Telecom Namibia, through an Angolan company, became the first
private licensed operator in Angola's fixed-line telephone network;
Angola Telecom established mobile-cellular service in Luanda in 1993
and the network has been extended to larger towns; a
privately-owned, mobile-cellular service provider began operations
in 2001

international: country code - 244; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC
fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and
Asia; satellite earth stations - 29 (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 21, FM 6, shortwave 7 (2001)



Television broadcast stations:


6 (2000)



Internet country code:


.ao



Internet hosts:


3,508 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 139


Internet users:


550,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 105






Transportation ::Angola




Airports:


192 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 32


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 30

over 3,047 m: 5

2,438 to 3,047 m: 9

1,524 to 2,437 m: 12

914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 162

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 4

1,524 to 2,437 m: 32

914 to 1,523 m: 78

under 914 m: 46 (2009)



Pipelines:


gas 2 km; oil 87 km (2008)



Railways:


total: 2,764 km
country comparison to the world: 61
narrow gauge: 2,641 km 1.067-m gauge; 123 km 0.600-m gauge (2008)



Roadways:


total: 51,429 km
country comparison to the world: 78
paved: 5,349 km

unpaved: 46,080 km (2001)



Waterways:


1,300 km (2008)
country comparison to the world: 55


Merchant marine:


total: 6
country comparison to the world: 128
by type: cargo 1, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 2, roll
on/roll off 1

foreign-owned: 1 (Spain 1)

registered in other countries: 6 (Bahamas 6) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Cabinda, Lobito, Luanda, Namibe







Military ::Angola




Military branches:


Angolan Armed Forces (FAA): Army, Navy (Marinha de Guerra Angola,
MGA), Angolan National Air Force (Forca Aerea Nacional Angolana,
FANA) (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


22-24 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript
service obligation - 2 years; Angolan citizenship required (2009)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 2,856,492

females age 16-49: 2,755,864 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 1,467,833

females age 16-49: 1,411,468 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 146,738

female: 143,478 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


5.7% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 13






Transnational Issues ::Angola




Disputes - international:


Cabindan separatists continue to return to the Angolan exclave from
exile in neighboring states and Europe since the 2006 ceasefire and
peace agreement



Refugees and internally displaced persons:


refugees (country of origin): 12,615 (Democratic Republic of Congo)

IDPs: 61,700 (27-year civil war ending in 2002; 4 million IDPs
already have returned) (2007)



Illicit drugs:


used as a transshipment point for cocaine destined for Western
Europe and other African states, particularly South Africa









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Anguilla  (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Anguilla




Background:


Colonized by English settlers from Saint Kitts in 1650, Anguilla was
administered by Great Britain until the early 19th century, when the
island - against the wishes of the inhabitants - was incorporated
into a single British dependency along with Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Several attempts at separation failed. In 1971, two years after a
revolt, Anguilla was finally allowed to secede; this arrangement was
formally recognized in 1980 with Anguilla becoming a separate
British dependency.







Geography ::Anguilla




Location:


Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic
Ocean, east of Puerto Rico



Geographic coordinates:


18 15 N, 63 10 W



Map references:


Central America and the Caribbean



Area:


total: 91 sq km
country comparison to the world: 226
land: 91 sq km

water: 0 sq km



Area - comparative:


about one-half the size of Washington, DC



Land boundaries:


0 km



Coastline:


61 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 3 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm



Climate:


tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds



Terrain:


flat and low-lying island of coral and limestone



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: Crocus Hill 65 m



Natural resources:


salt, fish, lobster



Land use:


arable land: 0%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 100% (mostly rock with sparse scrub oak, few trees, some
commercial salt ponds) (2005)



Irrigated land:


NA



Natural hazards:


frequent hurricanes and other tropical storms (July to October)



Environment - current issues:


supplies of potable water sometimes cannot meet increasing demand
largely because of poor distribution system



Geography - note:


the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles







People ::Anguilla




Population:


14,436 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 221


Age structure:


0-14 years: 24.5% (male 1,815/female 1,725)

15-64 years: 67.8% (male 4,665/female 5,125)

65 years and over: 7.7% (male 534/female 572) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 32.6 years

male: 31.5 years

female: 33.8 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


2.272% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41


Birth rate:


13.02 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157


Death rate:


4.36 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204


Net migration rate:


14.06 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6


Urbanization:


urban population: 100% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 3.52 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 215
male: 3.97 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.05 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 80.65 years
country comparison to the world: 15
male: 78.11 years

female: 83.26 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.75 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


NA



HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


NA



HIV/AIDS - deaths:


NA



Nationality:


noun: Anguillan(s)

adjective: Anguillan



Ethnic groups:


black (predominant) 90.1%, mixed, mulatto 4.6%, white 3.7%, other
1.5% (2001 census)



Religions:


Anglican 29%, Methodist 23.9%, other Protestant 30.2%, Roman
Catholic 5.7%, other Christian 1.7%, other 5.2%, none or unspecified
4.3% (2001 census)



Languages:


English (official)



Literacy:


definition: age 12 and over can read and write

total population: 95%

male: 95%

female: 95% (1984 est.)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 11 years

male: 11 years

female: 11 years (2006)



Education expenditures:


4% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 101






Government ::Anguilla




Country name:


conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Anguilla



Dependency status:


overseas territory of the UK



Government type:


NA



Capital:


name: The Valley

geographic coordinates: 18 13 N, 63 03 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)



Administrative divisions:


none (overseas territory of the UK)



Independence:


none (overseas territory of the UK)



National holiday:


Anguilla Day, 30 May (1967)



Constitution:


Anguilla Constitutional Order 1 April 1982; amended 1990



Legal system:


based on English common law



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor Alistair HARRISON (since 21 April 2009)

head of government: Chief Minister Osbourne FLEMING (since 3 March
2000)

cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor from among the
elected members of the House of Assembly

elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the
monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority
party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed
chief minister by the governor



Legislative branch:


unicameral House of Assembly (11 seats; 7 members elected by direct
popular vote, 2 ex officio members, and 2 appointed; members serve
five-year terms)

elections: last held 21 February 2005 (next to be held in 2010)

election results: percent of vote by party - AUF 38.9%, AUM 19.4%,
ANSA 19.2%, APP 9.5%, independents 13%; seats by party - AUF 4, ANSA
2, AUM 1



Judicial branch:


High Court (judge provided by Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court)



Political parties and leaders:


Anguilla United Front or AUF [Osbourne FLEMING, Victor BANKS] (a
coalition of the Anguilla Democratic Party or ADP and the Anguilla
National Alliance or ANA); Anguilla United Movement or AUM [Hubert
HUGHES]; Anguilla Progressive Party or APP [Roy ROGERS]; Anguilla
Strategic Alternative or ANSA [Edison BAIRD]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


NA



International organization participation:


Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), OECS, UPU, WFTU



Diplomatic representation in the US:


none (overseas territory of the UK)



Diplomatic representation from the US:


none (overseas territory of the UK)



Flag description:


blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and
the Anguillan coat of arms centered in the outer half of the flag;
the coat of arms depicts three orange dolphins in an interlocking
circular design on a white background with blue wavy water below







Economy ::Anguilla




Economy - overview:


Anguilla has few natural resources, and the economy depends heavily
on luxury tourism, offshore banking, lobster fishing, and
remittances from emigrants. Increased activity in the tourism
industry has spurred the growth of the construction sector
contributing to economic growth. Anguillan officials have put
substantial effort into developing the offshore financial sector,
which is small but growing. In the medium term, prospects for the
economy will depend largely on the tourism sector and, therefore, on
revived income growth in the industrialized nations as well as on
favorable weather conditions.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$108.9 million (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 219


GDP (official exchange rate):


$108.9 million (2004 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


10.2% (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10


GDP - per capita (PPP):


$8,800 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114


GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 4%

industry: 18%

services: 78% (2002 est.)



Labor force:


6,049 (2001)
country comparison to the world: 212


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture/fishing/forestry/mining 4%, manufacturing 3%,
construction 18%, transportation and utilities 10%, commerce 36%,
services 29% (2000 est.)



Unemployment rate:


8% (2002)
country comparison to the world: 110


Population below poverty line:


23% (2002)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%



Budget:


revenues: $22.8 million

expenditures: $22.5 million (2000 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


5.3% (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88


Central bank discount rate:


6.5% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 58
6.5% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


9.51% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 87
9.76% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$21.12 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 119
$23.57 million (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$449.5 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 109
$470.1 million (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$529.6 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 115
$447.7 million (31 December 2007)



Agriculture - products:


small quantities of tobacco, vegetables; cattle raising



Industries:


tourism, boat building, offshore financial services



Industrial production growth rate:


NA



Electricity - production:


NA kWh



Current account balance:


-$42.87 million (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70


Exports:


$13 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 208


Exports - commodities:


lobster, fish, livestock, salt, concrete blocks, rum



Imports:


$143 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 202


Imports - commodities:


fuels, foodstuffs, manufactures, chemicals, trucks, textiles



Debt - external:


$8.8 million (1998)
country comparison to the world: 199


Exchange rates:


East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006),
2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)

note: fixed rate since 1976







Communications ::Anguilla




Telephones - main lines in use:


5,800 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 211


Telephones - mobile cellular:


13,100 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 210


Telephone system:


general assessment: NA

domestic: modern internal telephone system

international: country code - 1-264; landing point for the East
Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable with links to 13 other
islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin
Islands to Trinidad; microwave radio relay to island of Saint Martin
(Guadeloupe and Netherlands Antilles) (2007)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 2, FM 7, shortwave 0 (2004)



Television broadcast stations:


1 (1997)



Internet country code:


.ai



Internet hosts:


258 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 181


Internet users:


4,500 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 204






Transportation ::Anguilla




Airports:


3 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 192


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 2

under 914 m: 2 (2009)



Roadways:


total: 175 km
country comparison to the world: 208
paved: 82 km

unpaved: 93 km (2004)



Ports and terminals:


Blowing Point, Road Bay







Military ::Anguilla




Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 3,538 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 2,955

females age 16-49: 3,308 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 107

female: 106 (2009 est.)



Military - note:


defense is the responsibility of the UK







Transnational Issues ::Anguilla




Disputes - international:


none



Illicit drugs:


transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US
and Europe









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Antarctica  (Antarctica)

Introduction ::Antarctica




Background:


Speculation over the existence of a "southern land" was not
confirmed until the early 1820s when British and American commercial
operators and British and Russian national expeditions began
exploring the Antarctic Peninsula region and other areas south of
the Antarctic Circle. Not until 1840 was it established that
Antarctica was indeed a continent and not just a group of islands.
Several exploration "firsts" were achieved in the early 20th
century. Following World War II, there was an upsurge in scientific
research on the continent. A number of countries have set up a range
of year-round and seasonal stations, camps, and refuges to support
scientific research in Antarctica. Seven have made territorial
claims, but not all countries recognize these claims. In order to
form a legal framework for the activities of nations on the
continent, an Antarctic Treaty was negotiated that neither denies
nor gives recognition to existing territorial claims; signed in
1959, it entered into force in 1961.







Geography ::Antarctica




Location:


continent mostly south of the Antarctic Circle



Geographic coordinates:


90 00 S, 0 00 E



Map references:


Antarctic Region



Area:


total: 14 million sq km

land: 14 million sq km (280,000 sq km ice-free, 13.72 million sq km
ice-covered) (est.)

note: fifth-largest continent, following Asia, Africa, North
America, and South America, but larger than Australia and the
subcontinent of Europe



Area - comparative:


slightly less than 1.5 times the size of the US



Land boundaries:


0 km

note: see entry on Disputes - international



Coastline:


17,968 km



Maritime claims:


Australia, Chile, and Argentina claim Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
rights or similar over 200 nm extensions seaward from their
continental claims, but like the claims themselves, these zones are
not accepted by other countries; 21 of 28 Antarctic consultative
nations have made no claims to Antarctic territory (although Russia
and the US have reserved the right to do so) and do not recognize
the claims of the other nations; also see the Disputes -
international entry



Climate:


severe low temperatures vary with latitude, elevation, and distance
from the ocean; East Antarctica is colder than West Antarctica
because of its higher elevation; Antarctic Peninsula has the most
moderate climate; higher temperatures occur in January along the
coast and average slightly below freezing



Terrain:


about 98% thick continental ice sheet and 2% barren rock, with
average elevations between 2,000 and 4,000 meters; mountain ranges
up to nearly 5,000 meters; ice-free coastal areas include parts of
southern Victoria Land, Wilkes Land, the Antarctic Peninsula area,
and parts of Ross Island on McMurdo Sound; glaciers form ice shelves
along about half of the coastline, and floating ice shelves
constitute 11% of the area of the continent



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Bentley Subglacial Trench -2,540 m

highest point: Vinson Massif 4,897 m

note: the lowest known land point in Antarctica is hidden in the
Bentley Subglacial Trench; at its surface is the deepest ice yet
discovered and the world's lowest elevation not under seawater



Natural resources:


iron ore, chromium, copper, gold, nickel, platinum and other
minerals, and coal and hydrocarbons have been found in small
uncommercial quantities; none presently exploited; krill, finfish,
and crab have been taken by commercial fisheries



Land use:


arable land: 0%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 100% (ice 98%, barren rock 2%) (2005)



Natural hazards:


katabatic (gravity-driven) winds blow coastward from the high
interior; frequent blizzards form near the foot of the plateau;
cyclonic storms form over the ocean and move clockwise along the
coast; volcanism on Deception Island and isolated areas of West
Antarctica; other seismic activity rare and weak; large icebergs may
calve from ice shelf



Environment - current issues:


in 1998, NASA satellite data showed that the Antarctic ozone hole
was the largest on record, covering 27 million square kilometers;
researchers in 1997 found that increased ultraviolet light passing
through the hole damages the DNA of icefish, an Antarctic fish
lacking hemoglobin; ozone depletion earlier was shown to harm
one-celled Antarctic marine plants; in 2002, significant areas of
ice shelves disintegrated in response to regional warming



Geography - note:


the coldest, windiest, highest (on average), and driest continent;
during summer, more solar radiation reaches the surface at the South
Pole than is received at the Equator in an equivalent period; mostly
uninhabitable







People ::Antarctica




Population:


no indigenous inhabitants, but there are both permanent and
summer-only staffed research stations

note: 29 nations, all signatory to the Antarctic Treaty, operate
through their National Antarctic Program a number of seasonal-only
(summer) and year-round research stations on the continent and its
nearby islands south of 60 degrees south latitude (the region
covered by the Antarctic Treaty); the population doing and
supporting science or engaged in the management and protection of
the Antarctic region varies from approximately 4,400 in summer to
1,100 in winter; in addition, approximately 1,000 personnel,
including ship's crew and scientists doing onboard research, are
present in the waters of the treaty region; peak summer
(December-February) population - 4,490 total; Argentina 667,
Australia 200, Australia and Romania jointly 13, Belgium 20, Brazil
40, Bulgaria 18, Chile 359, China 90, Czech Republic 20, Ecuador 26,
Finland 20, France 125, France and Italy jointly 60, Germany 90,
India 65, Italy 102, Japan 125, South Korea 70, NZ 85, Norway 44,
Peru 28, Poland 40, Russia 429, South Africa 80, Spain 50, Sweden
20, Ukraine 24, UK 217, US 1,293, Uruguay 70 (2008-2009); winter
(June-August) station population - 1,106 total; Argentina 176,
Australia 62, Brazil 12, Chile 114, China 29, France 26, France and
Italy jointly 13, Germany 9, India 25, Japan 40, South Korea 18, NZ
10, Norway 7, Poland 12, Russia 148, South Africa 10, Ukraine 12, UK
37, US 337, Uruguay 9 (2009); research stations operated within the
Antarctic Treaty area (south of 60 degrees south latitude) by
National Antarctic Programs: year-round stations - 40 total;
Argentina 6, Australia 3, Brazil 1, Chile 6, China 2, France 1,
France and Italy jointly 1, Germany 1, India 1, Japan 1, South Korea
1, NZ 1, Norway 1, Poland 1, Russia 5, South Africa 1, Ukraine 1, UK
2, US 3, Uruguay 1 (2009); a range of seasonal-only (summer)
stations, camps, and refuges - Argentina, Australia, Belgium,
Bulgaria, Brazil, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Finland,
France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand,
Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania (with Australia), Russia, South
Africa, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, UK, US, and Uruguay (2008-2009); in
addition, during the austral summer some nations have numerous
occupied locations such as tent camps, summer-long temporary
facilities, and mobile traverses in support of research (May 2009
est.)







Government ::Antarctica




Country name:


conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Antarctica



Government type:


Antarctic Treaty Summary - the Antarctic Treaty, signed on 1
December 1959 and entered into force on 23 June 1961, establishes
the legal framework for the management of Antarctica; the 32nd
Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting was held in Baltimore, MD, USA
in April 2009; at these periodic meetings, decisions are made by
consensus (not by vote) of all consultative member nations; by May
2009, there were 47 treaty member nations: 28 consultative and 19
non-consultative; consultative (decision-making) members include the
seven nations that claim portions of Antarctica as national
territory (some claims overlap) and 21 non-claimant nations; the US
and Russia have reserved the right to make claims; the US does not
recognize the claims of others; Antarctica is administered through
meetings of the consultative member nations; decisions from these
meetings are carried out by these member nations (with respect to
their own nationals and operations) in accordance with their own
national laws; the years in parentheses indicate when a consultative
member-nation acceded to the Treaty and when it was accepted as a
consultative member, while no date indicates the country was an
original 1959 treaty signatory; claimant nations are - Argentina,
Australia, Chile, France, NZ, Norway, and the UK. Nonclaimant
consultative nations are - Belgium, Brazil (1975/1983), Bulgaria
(1978/1998) China (1983/1985), Ecuador (1987/1990), Finland
(1984/1989), Germany (1979/1981), India (1983/1983), Italy
(1981/1987), Japan, South Korea (1986/1989), Netherlands
(1967/1990), Peru (1981/1989), Poland (1961/1977), Russia, South
Africa, Spain (1982/1988), Sweden (1984/1988), Ukraine (1992/2004),
Uruguay (1980/1985), and the US; non-consultative members, with year
of accession in parentheses, are - Austria (1987), Belarus (2006),
Canada (1988), Colombia (1989), Cuba (1984), Czech Republic
(1962/1993), Denmark (1965), Estonia (2001), Greece (1987),
Guatemala (1991), Hungary (1984), North Korea (1987), Monaco (2008),
Papua New Guinea (1981), Romania (1971), Slovakia (1962/1993),
Switzerland (1990), Turkey (1996), and Venezuela (1999); note -
Czechoslovakia acceded to the Treaty in 1962 and separated into the
Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993; Article 1 - area to be used for
peaceful purposes only; military activity, such as weapons testing,
is prohibited, but military personnel and equipment may be used for
scientific research or any other peaceful purpose; Article 2 -
freedom of scientific investigation and cooperation shall continue;
Article 3 - free exchange of information and personnel, cooperation
with the UN and other international agencies; Article 4 - does not
recognize, dispute, or establish territorial claims and no new
claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force; Article 5 -
prohibits nuclear explosions or disposal of radioactive wastes;
Article 6 - includes under the treaty all land and ice shelves south
of 60 degrees 00 minutes south and reserves high seas rights;
Article 7 - treaty-state observers have free access, including
aerial observation, to any area and may inspect all stations,
installations, and equipment; advance notice of all expeditions and
of the introduction of military personnel must be given; Article 8 -
allows for jurisdiction over observers and scientists by their own
states; Article 9 - frequent consultative meetings take place among
member nations; Article 10 - treaty states will discourage
activities by any country in Antarctica that are contrary to the
treaty; Article 11 - disputes to be settled peacefully by the
parties concerned or, ultimately, by the ICJ; Articles 12, 13, 14 -
deal with upholding, interpreting, and amending the treaty among
involved nations; other agreements - some 200 recommendations
adopted at treaty consultative meetings and ratified by governments
include - Agreed Measures for Fauna and Flora (1964) which were
later incorporated into the Environmental Protocol; Convention for
the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (1972); Convention on the
Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (1980); a mineral
resources agreement was signed in 1988 but remains unratified; the
Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was
signed 4 October 1991 and entered into force 14 January 1998; this
agreement provides for the protection of the Antarctic environment
through six specific annexes: 1) environmental impact assessment, 2)
conservation of Antarctic fauna and flora, 3) waste disposal and
waste management, 4) prevention of marine pollution, 5) area
protection and management and 6) liability arising from
environmental emergencies; it prohibits all activities relating to
mineral resources except scientific research; a permanent Antarctic
Treaty Secretariat was established in 2004 in Buenos Aires, Argentina



Legal system:


Antarctica is administered through meetings of the consultative
member nations; decisions from these meetings are carried out by
these member nations (with respect to their own nationals and
operations) in accordance with their own national laws; more
generally, access to the Antarctic Treaty area, that is to all areas
between 60 and 90 degrees south latitude, is subject to a number of
relevant legal instruments and authorization procedures adopted by
the states party to the Antarctic Treaty; note - US law, including
certain criminal offenses by or against US nationals, such as
murder, may apply extraterritorially; some US laws directly apply to
Antarctica; for example, the Antarctic Conservation Act, 16 U.S.C.
section 2401 et seq., provides civil and criminal penalties for the
following activities unless authorized by regulation of statute: the
taking of native mammals or birds; the introduction of nonindigenous
plants and animals; entry into specially protected areas; the
discharge or disposal of pollutants; and the importation into the US
of certain items from Antarctica; violation of the Antarctic
Conservation Act carries penalties of up to $10,000 in fines and one
year in prison; the National Science Foundation and Department of
Justice share enforcement responsibilities; Public Law 95-541, the
US Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978, as amended in 1996, requires
expeditions from the US to Antarctica to notify, in advance, the
Office of Oceans, Room 5805, Department of State, Washington, DC
20520, which reports such plans to other nations as required by the
Antarctic Treaty; for more information, contact Permit Office,
Office of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, Arlington,
Virginia 22230; telephone: (703) 292-8030, or visit its website at
www.nsf.gov







Economy ::Antarctica




Economy - overview:


Fishing off the coast and tourism, both based abroad, account for
Antarctica's limited economic activity. Antarctic fisheries in
2006-07 (1 July-30 June) reported landing 126,976 metric tons
(estimated fishing from the area covered by the Convention on the
Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which
extends slightly beyond the Antarctic Treaty area). Unregulated
fishing, particularly of Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus
eleginoides - also known as Chilean sea bass), is a serious problem.
The CCAMLR determines the recommended catch limits for marine
species. A total of 45,652 tourists visited the Antarctic Treaty
area in the 2007-08 Antarctic summer, up from the 36,460 visitors in
2006-2007, and the 30,877 visitors in 2005-2006 (estimates provided
to the Antarctic Treaty by the International Association of
Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO); this does not include passengers
on overflights). Nearly all of them were passengers on commercial
(nongovernmental) ships and several yachts that make trips during
the summer. Most tourist trips last approximately two weeks.







Communications ::Antarctica




Telephones - main lines in use:


0; note - information for US bases only (2001)
country comparison to the world: 231


Telephone system:


general assessment: local systems at some research stations

domestic: commercial cellular networks operating in a small number
of locations

international: country code - none allocated; via satellite
(including mobile Inmarsat and Iridium systems) to and from all
research stations, ships, aircraft, and most field parties (2007)



Radio broadcast stations:


FM 2, shortwave 1 (information for US bases only); note - many
research stations have a local FM radio station (2007)



Television broadcast stations:


1 (cable system with 6 channels; American Forces Antarctic
Network-McMurdo - information for US bases only) (2002)



Internet country code:


.aq



Internet hosts:


7,758 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 126






Transportation ::Antarctica




Airports:


25 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 129


Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 25

over 3,047 m: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 9

under 914 m: 6 (2009)



Heliports:


53

note: all year-round and seasonal stations operated by National
Antarctic Programs stations have some kind of helicopter landing
facilities, prepared (helipads) or unprepared (2007)



Ports and terminals:


there are no developed ports and harbors in Antarctica; most coastal
stations have sparse and intermittent offshore anchorages; a few
stations have basic wharf facilities



Transportation - note:


US coastal stations include McMurdo (77 51 S, 166 40 E) and Palmer
(64 43 S, 64 03 W); government use only except by permit (see Permit
Office under "Legal System"); all ships at port are subject to
inspection in accordance with Article 7, Antarctic Treaty; relevant
legal instruments and authorization procedures adopted by the states
parties to the Antarctic Treaty regulating access to the Antarctic
Treaty area to all areas between 60 and 90 degrees of latitude south
have to be complied with (see "Legal System"); The Hydrographic
Commission on Antarctica (HCA), a commission of the International
Hydrographic Organization (IHO), is responsible for hydrographic
surveying and nautical charting matters in Antarctic Treaty area; it
coordinates and facilitates provision of accurate and appropriate
charts and other aids to navigation in support of safety of
navigation in region; membership of HCA is open to any IHO Member
State whose government has acceded to the Antarctic Treaty and which
contributes resources or data to IHO Chart coverage of the area







Military ::Antarctica




Military - note:


the Antarctic Treaty prohibits any measures of a military nature,
such as the establishment of military bases and fortifications, the
carrying out of military maneuvers, or the testing of any type of
weapon; it permits the use of military personnel or equipment for
scientific research or for any other peaceful purposes







Transnational Issues ::Antarctica




Disputes - international:


the Antarctic Treaty freezes, and most states do not recognize, the
land and maritime territorial claims made by Argentina, Australia,
Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom (some
overlapping) for three-fourths of the continent; the US and Russia
reserve the right to make claims; no claims have been made in the
sector between 90 degrees west and 150 degrees west; the
International Whaling Commission created a sanctuary around the
entire continent to deter catches by countries claiming to conduct
scientific whaling; Australia has established a similar preserve in
the waters around its territorial claim









page last updated on October 28, 2009

======================================================================




@Antigua and Barbuda  (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Antigua and Barbuda




Background:


The Siboney were the first to inhabit the islands of Antigua and
Barbuda in 2400 B.C., but Arawak Indians populated the islands when
COLUMBUS landed on his second voyage in 1493. Early settlements by
the Spanish and French were succeeded by the English who formed a
colony in 1667. Slavery, established to run the sugar plantations on
Antigua, was abolished in 1834. The islands became an independent
state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981.







Geography ::Antigua and Barbuda




Location:


Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic
Ocean, east-southeast of Puerto Rico



Geographic coordinates:


17 03 N, 61 48 W



Map references:


Central America and the Caribbean



Area:


total: 442.6 sq km (Antigua 280 sq km; Barbuda 161 sq km)
country comparison to the world: 199
land: 442.6 sq km

water: 0 sq km

note: includes Redonda, 1.6 sq km



Area - comparative:


2.5 times the size of Washington, DC



Land boundaries:


0 km



Coastline:


153 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin



Climate:


tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation



Terrain:


mostly low-lying limestone and coral islands, with some higher
volcanic areas



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: Boggy Peak 402 m



Natural resources:


NEGL; pleasant climate fosters tourism



Land use:


arable land: 18.18%

permanent crops: 4.55%

other: 77.27% (2005)



Irrigated land:


NA



Total renewable water resources:


0.1 cu km (2000)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 0.005 cu km/yr (60%/20%/20%)

per capita: 63 cu m/yr (1990)



Natural hazards:


hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October); periodic droughts



Environment - current issues:


water management - a major concern because of limited natural fresh
water resources - is further hampered by the clearing of trees to
increase crop production, causing rainfall to run off quickly



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping,
Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


Antigua has a deeply indented shoreline with many natural harbors
and beaches; Barbuda has a large western harbor







People ::Antigua and Barbuda




Population:


85,632 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198


Age structure:


0-14 years: 26.8% (male 11,660/female 11,303)

15-64 years: 66.6% (male 26,597/female 30,414)

65 years and over: 6.6% (male 2,456/female 3,202) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 29.7 years

male: 28.2 years

female: 31.1 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


1.303% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103


Birth rate:


16.59 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128


Death rate:


5.94 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164


Net migration rate:


2.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36


Urbanization:


urban population: 30% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female

total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 16.25 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 120
male: 18.76 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13.62 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 74.76 years
country comparison to the world: 87
male: 72.81 years

female: 76.81 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


2.07 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


NA



HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


NA



HIV/AIDS - deaths:


NA



Nationality:


noun: Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s)

adjective: Antiguan, Barbudan



Ethnic groups:


black 91%, mixed 4.4%, white 1.7%, other 2.9% (2001 census)



Religions:


Anglican 25.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 12.3%, Pentecostal 10.6%,
Moravian 10.5%, Roman Catholic 10.4%, Methodist 7.9%, Baptist 4.9%,
Church of God 4.5%, other Christian 5.4%, other 2%, none or
unspecified 5.8% (2001 census)



Languages:


English (official), local dialects



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over has completed five or more years of
schooling

total population: 85.8%

male: NA

female: NA (2003 est.)



Education expenditures:


3.9% of GDP (2002)
country comparison to the world: 106






Government ::Antigua and Barbuda




Country name:


conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Antigua and Barbuda



Government type:


constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government
and a Commonwealth realm



Capital:


name: Saint John's

geographic coordinates: 17 07 N, 61 51 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)



Administrative divisions:


6 parishes and 2 dependencies*; Barbuda*, Redonda*, Saint George,
Saint John, Saint Mary, Saint Paul, Saint Peter, Saint Philip



Independence:


1 November 1981 (from the UK)



National holiday:


Independence Day (National Day), 1 November (1981)



Constitution:


1 November 1981



Legal system:


based on English common law



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor General Louisse LAKE-TACK (since 17 July
2007)

head of government: Prime Minister Winston Baldwin SPENCER (since 24
March 2004)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the governor general on
the advice of the prime minister

elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general chosen by the
monarch on the advice of the prime minister; following legislative
elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the
majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the
governor general



Legislative branch:


bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (17 seats; members
appointed by the governor general) and the House of Representatives
(17 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to
serve five-year terms)

elections: House of Representatives - last held 12 March 2009 (next
to be held in 2014)

election results: percent of vote by party - UPP 50.9%, ALP 47.2%,
BPM 1.1%; seats by party - UPP 9, ALP 7, BPM 1



Judicial branch:


Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court consisting of a High Court of
Justice and a Court of Appeal (based in Saint Lucia; two judges of
the Supreme Court are residents of the islands and preside over the
Court of Summary Jurisdiction); Magistrates' Courts; member of the
Caribbean Court of Justice



Political parties and leaders:


Antigua Labor Party or ALP [Lester Bryant BIRD]; Barbudans for a
Better Barbuda [Ordrick SAMUEL]; Barbuda People's Movement or BPM
[Thomas H. FRANK]; Barbuda People's Movement for Change [Arthur
NIBBS]; United Progressive Party or UPP [Baldwin SPENCER] (a
coalition of three parties - Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement
or ACLM, Progressive Labor Movement or PLM, United National
Democratic Party or UNDP)



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Antigua Trades and Labor Union or ATLU [William ROBINSON]; People's
Democratic Movement or PDM [Hugh MARSHALL]



International organization participation:


ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD,
IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU,
ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU,
WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Deborah Mae LOVELL

chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

telephone: [1] (202) 362-5122

FAX: [1] (202) 362-5225

consulate(s) general: Miami, New York



Diplomatic representation from the US:


the US does not have an embassy in Antigua and Barbuda; the US
Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Antigua and Barbuda



Flag description:


red, with an inverted isosceles triangle based on the top edge of
the flag; the triangle contains three horizontal bands of black
(top), light blue, and white, with a yellow rising sun in the black
band; the sun symbolizes the dawn of a new era, black represents the
African heritage of most of the population, blue is for hope, and
red is for the dynamism of the people; the "V" stands for victory;
the successive yellow, blue, and white coloring is also meant to
evoke the country's tourist attractions of sun, sea, and sand







Economy ::Antigua and Barbuda




Economy - overview:


Antigua has a relatively high GDP per capita in comparison to most
other Caribbean nations. The economy experienced solid growth from
2003 to 2007, reaching over 12% in 2006 driven by a construction
boom in hotels and housing associated with the Cricket World Cup.
Growth dropped off in 2008 with the end of the boom. Tourism
continues to dominate the economy, accounting for nearly 60% of GDP
and 40% of investment. The dual-island nation's agricultural
production is focused on the domestic market and constrained by a
limited water supply and a labor shortage stemming from the lure of
higher wages in tourism and construction. Manufacturing comprises
enclave-type assembly for export with major products being bedding,
handicrafts, and electronic components. Prospects for economic
growth in the medium term will continue to depend on tourist
arrivals from the US, Canada, and Europe and potential damages from
natural disasters. Since taking office in 2004, the SPENCER
government has adopted an ambitious fiscal reform program, and has
been successful in reducing its public debt-to-GDP ratio from 120%
to about 90%.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$1.639 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189
$1.594 billion (2007 est.)

$1.491 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$1.224 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


2.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
6.9% (2007 est.)

12.4% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$19,400 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
$19,100 (2007 est.)

$18,100 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 3.8%

industry: 22%

services: 74.3% (2002 est.)



Labor force:


30,000 (1991)
country comparison to the world: 197


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 7%

industry: 11%

services: 82% (1983)



Unemployment rate:


11% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127


Population below poverty line:


NA%



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%



Budget:


revenues: $123.7 million

expenditures: $145.9 million (2000 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


1.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12


Central bank discount rate:


6.5% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 57
6.5% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


10.43% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 80
10.44% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$296.4 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 101
$294.8 million (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$939.9 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 97
$902 million (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$1.13 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 107
$1.002 billion (31 December 2007)



Agriculture - products:


cotton, fruits, vegetables, bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes,
sugarcane; livestock



Industries:


tourism, construction, light manufacturing (clothing, alcohol,
household appliances)



Industrial production growth rate:


NA%



Electricity - production:


110 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188


Electricity - consumption:


102.3 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115


Oil - consumption:


5,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162


Oil - exports:


219 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129


Oil - imports:


4,690 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159


Oil - proved reserves:


0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 209


Natural gas - production:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 209


Natural gas - consumption:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 209


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 207


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206


Natural gas - proved reserves:


0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207


Current account balance:


-$211 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89


Exports:


$84.3 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196


Exports - commodities:


petroleum products, bedding, handicrafts, electronic components,
transport equipment, food and live animals



Imports:


$522.8 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186


Imports - commodities:


food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment,
manufactures, chemicals, oil



Debt - external:


$359.8 million (June 2006)
country comparison to the world: 169


Exchange rates:


East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006),
2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)

note: fixed rate since 1976







Communications ::Antigua and Barbuda




Telephones - main lines in use:


38,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 171


Telephones - mobile cellular:


136,600 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 177


Telephone system:


general assessment: NA

domestic: good automatic telephone system

international: country code - 1-268; landing point for the East
Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable with links to 13 other
islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin
Islands to Trinidad; satellite earth stations - 2; tropospheric
scatter to Saba (Netherlands Antilles) and Guadeloupe (2007)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 4, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)



Television broadcast stations:


2 (1997)



Internet country code:


.ag



Internet hosts:


7,421 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 127


Internet users:


65,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 166






Transportation ::Antigua and Barbuda




Airports:


3 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 190


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2009)



Roadways:


total: 1,165 km
country comparison to the world: 181
paved: 384 km

unpaved: 781 km (2002)



Merchant marine:


total: 1,146
country comparison to the world: 7
by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 50, cargo 651, carrier 4,
chemical tanker 5, container 392, liquefied gas 12, petroleum tanker
1, refrigerated cargo 9, roll on/roll off 20

foreign-owned: 1,113 (Australia 1, Colombia 2, Cyprus 18, Denmark
19, Estonia 23, France 1, Germany 941, Greece 3, Iceland 12, Italy
1, Latvia 13, Lithuania 5, Netherlands 20, NZ 2, Norway 8, Poland 2,
Russia 4, Slovenia 6, Sweden 1, Switzerland 8, Turkey 6, UK 9, US 8)
(2008)



Ports and terminals:


Saint John's







Military ::Antigua and Barbuda




Military branches:


Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription
(2008)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 19,560

females age 16-49: 18,977 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 17,271

females age 16-49: 19,586 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 744

female: 743 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


NA







Transnational Issues ::Antigua and Barbuda




Disputes - international:


none



Illicit drugs:


considered a minor transshipment point for narcotics bound for the
US and Europe; more significant as an offshore financial center









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Arctic Ocean  (Oceans)

Introduction ::Arctic Ocean




Background:


The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the world's five oceans (after
the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and the recently
delimited Southern Ocean). The Northwest Passage (US and Canada) and
Northern Sea Route (Norway and Russia) are two important seasonal
waterways. A sparse network of air, ocean, river, and land routes
circumscribes the Arctic Ocean.







Geography ::Arctic Ocean




Location:


body of water between Europe, Asia, and North America, mostly north
of the Arctic Circle



Geographic coordinates:


90 00 N, 0 00 E



Map references:


Arctic



Area:


total: 14.056 million sq km

note: includes Baffin Bay, Barents Sea, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea,
East Siberian Sea, Greenland Sea, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Kara
Sea, Laptev Sea, Northwest Passage, and other tributary water bodies



Area - comparative:


slightly less than 1.5 times the size of the US



Coastline:


45,389 km



Climate:


polar climate characterized by persistent cold and relatively narrow
annual temperature ranges; winters characterized by continuous
darkness, cold and stable weather conditions, and clear skies;
summers characterized by continuous daylight, damp and foggy
weather, and weak cyclones with rain or snow



Terrain:


central surface covered by a perennial drifting polar icepack that,
on average, is about 3 meters thick, although pressure ridges may be
three times that thickness; clockwise drift pattern in the Beaufort
Gyral Stream, but nearly straight-line movement from the New
Siberian Islands (Russia) to Denmark Strait (between Greenland and
Iceland); the icepack is surrounded by open seas during the summer,
but more than doubles in size during the winter and extends to the
encircling landmasses; the ocean floor is about 50% continental
shelf (highest percentage of any ocean) with the remainder a central
basin interrupted by three submarine ridges (Alpha Cordillera,
Nansen Cordillera, and Lomonosov Ridge)



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Fram Basin -4,665 m

highest point: sea level 0 m



Natural resources:


sand and gravel aggregates, placer deposits, polymetallic nodules,
oil and gas fields, fish, marine mammals (seals and whales)



Natural hazards:


ice islands occasionally break away from northern Ellesmere Island;
icebergs calved from glaciers in western Greenland and extreme
northeastern Canada; permafrost in islands; virtually ice locked
from October to June; ships subject to superstructure icing from
October to May



Environment - current issues:


endangered marine species include walruses and whales; fragile
ecosystem slow to change and slow to recover from disruptions or
damage; thinning polar icepack



Geography - note:


major chokepoint is the southern Chukchi Sea (northern access to the
Pacific Ocean via the Bering Strait); strategic location between
North America and Russia; shortest marine link between the extremes
of eastern and western Russia; floating research stations operated
by the US and Russia; maximum snow cover in March or April about 20
to 50 centimeters over the frozen ocean; snow cover lasts about 10
months









Economy ::Arctic Ocean




Economy - overview:


Economic activity is limited to the exploitation of natural
resources, including petroleum, natural gas, fish, and seals.








Transportation ::Arctic Ocean




Ports and terminals:


Churchill (Canada), Murmansk (Russia), Prudhoe Bay (US)



Transportation - note:


sparse network of air, ocean, river, and land routes; the Northwest
Passage (North America) and Northern Sea Route (Eurasia) are
important seasonal waterways








Transnational Issues ::Arctic Ocean




Disputes - international:


the littoral states are engaged in various stages of demonstrating
the limits of their continental shelves beyond 200 nautical miles
from their declared baselines in accordance with Article 76,
paragraph 8, of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;
record summer melting of sea ice in the Arctic has restimulated
interest in maritime shipping lanes and sea floor exploration









page last updated on October 22, 2009

======================================================================




@Argentina  (South America)

Introduction ::Argentina




Background:


In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their
independence from Spain. After Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went
their separate ways, the area that remained became Argentina. The
country's population and culture were heavily shaped by immigrants
from throughout Europe, but most particularly Italy and Spain, which
provided the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930. Up
until about the mid-20th century, much of Argentina's history was
dominated by periods of internal political conflict between
Federalists and Unitarians and between civilian and military
factions. After World War II, an era of Peronist populism and direct
and indirect military interference in subsequent governments was
followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy
returned in 1983 after a failed bid to seize the Falkland (Malvinas)
Islands by force, and has persisted despite numerous challenges, the
most formidable of which was a severe economic crisis in 2001-02
that led to violent public protests and the resignation of several
interim presidents.







Geography ::Argentina




Location:


Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between
Chile and Uruguay



Geographic coordinates:


34 00 S, 64 00 W



Map references:


South America



Area:


total: 2,780,400 sq km
country comparison to the world: 8
land: 2,736,690 sq km

water: 43,710 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly less than three-tenths the size of the US



Land boundaries:


total: 9,861 km

border countries: Bolivia 832 km, Brazil 1,261 km, Chile 5,308 km,
Paraguay 1,880 km, Uruguay 580 km



Coastline:


4,989 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin



Climate:


mostly temperate; arid in southeast; subantarctic in southwest



Terrain:


rich plains of the Pampas in northern half, flat to rolling plateau
of Patagonia in south, rugged Andes along western border



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Laguna del Carbon -105 m (located between Puerto San
Julian and Comandante Luis Piedra Buena in the province of Santa
Cruz)

highest point: Cerro Aconcagua 6,960 m (located in the northwestern
corner of the province of Mendoza)



Natural resources:


fertile plains of the pampas, lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore,
manganese, petroleum, uranium



Land use:


arable land: 10.03%

permanent crops: 0.36%

other: 89.61% (2005)



Irrigated land:


15,500 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


814 cu km (2000)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 29.19 cu km/yr (17%/9%/74%)

per capita: 753 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


San Miguel de Tucuman and Mendoza areas in the Andes subject to
earthquakes; pamperos are violent windstorms that can strike the
pampas and northeast; heavy flooding



Environment - current issues:


environmental problems (urban and rural) typical of an
industrializing economy such as deforestation, soil degradation,
desertification, air pollution, and water pollution

note: Argentina is a world leader in setting voluntary greenhouse
gas targets



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living
Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation



Geography - note:


second-largest country in South America (after Brazil); strategic
location relative to sea lanes between the South Atlantic and the
South Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake
Passage); diverse geophysical landscapes range from tropical
climates in the north to tundra in the far south; Cerro Aconcagua is
the Western Hemisphere's tallest mountain, while Laguna del Carbon
is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere







People ::Argentina




Population:


40,913,584 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31


Age structure:


0-14 years: 25.6% (male 5,369,477/female 5,122,260)

15-64 years: 63.5% (male 12,961,725/female 13,029,265)

65 years and over: 10.8% (male 1,819,057/female 2,611,800) (2009
est.)



Median age:


total: 30 years

male: 29 years

female: 31 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


1.053% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124


Birth rate:


17.94 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113


Death rate:


7.41 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122


Net migration rate:


0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75


Urbanization:


urban population: 92% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 11.44 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 149
male: 12.76 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 76.56 years
country comparison to the world: 66
male: 73.32 years

female: 79.97 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


2.35 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


0.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


120,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


7,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39


Major infectious diseases:


degree of risk: intermediate

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A

water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)



Nationality:


noun: Argentine(s)

adjective: Argentine



Ethnic groups:


white (mostly Spanish and Italian) 97%, mestizo (mixed white and
Amerindian ancestry), Amerindian, or other non-white groups 3%



Religions:


nominally Roman Catholic 92% (less than 20% practicing), Protestant
2%, Jewish 2%, other 4%



Languages:


Spanish (official), Italian, English, German, French



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97.2%

male: 97.2%

female: 97.2% (2001 census)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 15 years

male: 14 years

female: 16 years (2005)



Education expenditures:


3.8% of GDP (2004)
country comparison to the world: 113






Government ::Argentina




Country name:


conventional long form: Argentine Republic

conventional short form: Argentina

local long form: Republica Argentina

local short form: Argentina



Government type:


republic



Capital:


name: Buenos Aires

geographic coordinates: 34 36 S, 58 40 W

time difference: UTC-3 (3 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends
third Saturday in March; note - a new policy of daylight saving time
was initiated by the government on 30 December 2007



Administrative divisions:


23 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 autonomous
city* (distrito federal); Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Capital
Federal*, Catamarca, Chaco, Chubut, Cordoba, Corrientes, Entre Rios,
Formosa, Jujuy, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Misiones, Neuquen, Rio
Negro, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Santiago del
Estero, Tierra del Fuego - Antartida e Islas del Atlantico Sur,
Tucuman

note: the US does not recognize any claims to Antarctica



Independence:


9 July 1816 (from Spain)



National holiday:


Revolution Day, 25 May (1810)



Constitution:


1 May 1853; amended many times starting in 1860



Legal system:


mixture of US and West European legal systems; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal and compulsory



Executive branch:


chief of state: President Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER (since 10
December 2007); Vice President Julio COBOS (since 10 December 2007);
note - the president is both the chief of state and head of
government

head of government: President Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER (since
10 December 2007); Vice President Julio COBOS (since 10 December
2007)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket
by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term);
election last held 28 October 2007 (next election to be held in 2011)

election results: Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER elected president;
percent of vote - Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER 45%, Elisa CARRIO
23%, Roberto LAVAGNA 17%, Alberto Rodriguez SAA 8%



Legislative branch:


bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the
Senate (72 seats; members are elected by direct vote; presently
one-third of the members elected every two years to serve six-year
terms) and the Chamber of Deputies (257 seats; members are elected
by direct vote; one-half of the members elected every two years to
serve four-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held 28 October 2007 (next to be held in
2009); Chamber of Deputies - last held last held 28 October 2007
(next to be held in 2009)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA;
seats by bloc or party - FpV 12, UCR 4, CC 4, other 4; Chamber of
Deputies - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA; seats by bloc or
party - FpV 5, UCR 10, PJ 10, PRO 6, CC 16, FJ 2, other 31; note -
as of 1 January 2009, the composition of the entire legislature is
as follows: Senate - seats by bloc or party - FpV 42, UCR 8, CC 2,
other 20; Chamber of Deputies - seats by bloc or party - FpV 119,
UCR 24, CC 18, PS 10, PRO 9, other 77



Judicial branch:


Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (the Supreme Court judges are
appointed by the president with approval of the Senate)

note: the Supreme Court has seven judges; the Argentine Congress in
2006 passed a bill to gradually reduce the number of Supreme Court
judges to five



Political parties and leaders:


Coalicion Civica (a broad coalition loosely affiliated with Elisa
CARRIO); Front for Victory or FpV (a broad coalition, including
elements of the UCR and numerous provincial parties) [Nestor
KIRCHNER]; Interbloque Federal or IF (a broad coalition of
approximately 12 parties including PRO); Justicialist Party or PJ
[Nestor KIRCHNER]; Radical Civic Union or UCR [Gerardo MORALES];
Republican Proposal or PRO [Mauricio MACRI] (including Federal
Recreate Movement or RECREAR [Esteban BULLRICH]; Socialist Party or
PS [Ruben GIUSTINIANI]; Union For All [Patricia BULLRICH]; several
provincial parties



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Argentine Association of Pharmaceutical Labs (CILFA); Argentine
Industrial Union (manufacturers' association); Argentine Rural
Confederation or CRA (small to medium landowners' association);
Argentine Rural Society (large landowners' association); Central of
Argentine Workers or CTA (a radical union for employed and
unemployed workers); General Confederation of Labor or CGT
(Peronist-leaning umbrella labor organization); White and Blue CGT
(dissident CGT labor confederation); Roman Catholic Church

other: business organizations; Peronist-dominated labor movement;
Piquetero groups (popular protest organizations that can be either
pro or anti-government); students



International organization participation:


AfDB (nonregional members), Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CAN
(associate), FAO, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO,
ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO,
Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur,
MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NSG, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, SICA
(observer), UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union
Latina (observer), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO,
WMO, WTO, ZC



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Hector Marcos TIMERMAN

chancery: 1600 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 238-6400

FAX: [1] (202) 332-3171

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami,
New York



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Earl Anthony WAYNE

embassy: Avenida Colombia 4300, C1425GMN Buenos Aires

mailing address: international mail: use embassy street address; APO
address: US Embassy Buenos Aires, Unit 4334, APO AA 34034

telephone: [54] (11) 5777-4533

FAX: [54] (11) 5777-4240



Flag description:


three equal horizontal bands of light blue (top), white, and light
blue; centered in the white band is a radiant yellow sun with a
human face known as the Sun of May; the colors represent the clear
skies and snow of the Andes; the sun symbol commemorates the
appearance of the sun through cloudy skies on 25 May 1810 during the
first mass demonstration in favor of independence; the sun features
are those of Inti, the Inca god of the sun







Economy ::Argentina




Economy - overview:


Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate
population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a
diversified industrial base. Although one of the world's wealthiest
countries 100 years ago, Argentina suffered during most of the 20th
century from recurring economic crises, persistent fiscal and
current account deficits, high inflation, mounting external debt,
and capital flight. A severe depression, growing public and external
indebtedness, and a bank run culminated in 2001 in the most serious
economic, social, and political crisis in the country's turbulent
history. Interim President Adolfo RODRIGUEZ SAA declared a default -
the largest in history - on the government's foreign debt in
December of that year, and abruptly resigned only a few days after
taking office. His successor, Eduardo DUHALDE, announced an end to
the peso's decade-long 1-to-1 peg to the US dollar in early 2002.
The economy bottomed out that year, with real GDP 18% smaller than
in 1998 and almost 60% of Argentines under the poverty line. Real
GDP rebounded to grow by an average 9% annually over the subsequent
five years, taking advantage of previously idled industrial capacity
and labor, an audacious debt restructuring and reduced debt burden,
excellent international financial conditions, and expansionary
monetary and fiscal policies. Inflation also increased, however,
during the administration of President Nestor KIRCHNER, which
responded with price restraints on businesses, as well as export
taxes and restraints, and beginning in early 2007, with understating
inflation data. Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER succeeded her husband
as President in late 2007, but was stymied in her efforts to hike
export taxes still further by protesting farmers. Her government
nationalized private pension funds in late 2008, which bolstered
government coffers, but failed to assuage investors' concerns about
the direction of economic policy.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$575.2 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
$538.6 billion (2007 est.)

$495.5 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$324.8 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


6.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
8.7% (2007 est.)

8.5% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$14,200 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
$13,400 (2007 est.)

$12,500 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 9.9%

industry: 32.7%

services: 57.4% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


16.27 million
country comparison to the world: 36
note: urban areas only (2008 est.)



Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 1%

industry: 23%

services: 76% (2008 est.)



Unemployment rate:


7.9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
8.5% (2007 est.)



Population below poverty line:


23.4% (January-June 2007)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 1%

highest 10%: 35% (January-March 2007)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


49 (January-March 2007)
country comparison to the world: 27


Investment (gross fixed):


23.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65


Budget:


revenues: $86.65 billion

expenditures: $82.85 billion (2008 est.)



Public debt:


48.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
118% of GDP (June 2004 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


8.6% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
8.8% (2007 est.)

note: based on official estimates, which lack credibility;
non-official estimates put inflation at 22% in 2008



Central bank discount rate:


NA



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


19.47% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 7
28% (28 November 2008)



Stock of money:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$33.93 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$45.92 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$72.55 billion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$52.31 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 50
$86.68 billion (31 December 2007)

$79.73 billion (31 December 2006)



Agriculture - products:


sunflower seeds, lemons, soybeans, grapes, corn, tobacco, peanuts,
tea, wheat; livestock



Industries:


food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles,
chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel



Industrial production growth rate:


4.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61


Electricity - production:


109.5 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30


Electricity - consumption:


99.21 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31


Electricity - exports:


2.628 billion kWh (2007 est.)



Electricity - imports:


10.28 billion kWh (2007 est.)



Oil - production:


792,300 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25


Oil - consumption:


610,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29


Oil - exports:


314,400 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38


Oil - imports:


52,290 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87


Oil - proved reserves:


2.616 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31


Natural gas - production:


44.06 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21


Natural gas - consumption:


44.47 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18


Natural gas - exports:


890 million cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 37


Natural gas - imports:


1.3 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50


Natural gas - proved reserves:


441.7 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33


Current account balance:


$7.077 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
$7.103 billion (2007 est.)



Exports:


$70.02 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
$55.78 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


soybeans and derivatives, petroleum and gas, vehicles, corn, wheat



Exports - partners:


Brazil 18.9%, China 9.1%, US 7.9%, Chile 6.7%, Netherlands 4.2%
(2008)



Imports:


$54.56 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
$42.53 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


machinery, motor vehicles, petroleum and natural gas, organic
chemicals, plastics



Imports - partners:


Brazil 31.3%, China 12.4%, US 12.2%, Germany 4.4% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$46.37 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
$46.12 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$128.2 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 34
$124 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:


$73.98 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
$66 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:


$28.75 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
$26.92 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Exchange rates:


Argentine pesos (ARS) per US dollar - 3.1636 (2008 est.), 3.1105
(2007), 3.0543 (2006), 2.9037 (2005), 2.9233 (2004)







Communications ::Argentina




Telephones - main lines in use:


9.631 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 23


Telephones - mobile cellular:


46.509 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 21


Telephone system:


general assessment: by opening the telecommunications market to
competition and foreign investment with the "Telecommunications
Liberalization Plan of 1998," Argentina encouraged the growth of
modern telecommunications technology; fiber-optic cable trunk lines
are being installed between all major cities; major networks are
entirely digital and the availability of telephone service is
improving; fixed-line telephone density is gradually increasing
reaching nearly 25 lines per 100 people in 2008; mobile telephone
subscribership has been increasing rapidly and has reached a level
of 115 telephones per 100 persons

domestic: microwave radio relay, fiber-optic cable, and a domestic
satellite system with 40 earth stations serve the trunk network;
mobile telephone use is rapidly expanding; broadband services are
gaining ground

international: country code - 54; landing point for the Atlantis-2,
UNISUR, and South America-1 optical submarine cable systems that
provide links to Europe, Africa, South and Central America, and US;
satellite earth stations - 112; 2 international gateways near Buenos
Aires (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 260, FM (probably more than 1,000, mostly unlicensed), shortwave
6 (1998)



Television broadcast stations:


42 (plus 444 repeaters) (1997)



Internet country code:


.ar



Internet hosts:


4.906 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 16


Internet users:


11.212 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 28






Transportation ::Argentina




Airports:


1,130 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 6


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 156

over 3,047 m: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 26

1,524 to 2,437 m: 65

914 to 1,523 m: 51

under 914 m: 10 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 974

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 44

914 to 1,523 m: 522

under 914 m: 406 (2009)



Heliports:


2 (2009)



Pipelines:


gas 28,138 km; liquid petroleum gas 41 km; oil 5,939 km; refined
products 3,629 km (2008)



Railways:


total: 31,409 km
country comparison to the world: 8
broad gauge: 27,301 km 1.676-m gauge (94 km electrified)

standard gauge: 2,780 km 1.435-m gauge (26 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 1,328 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)



Roadways:


total: 231,374 km
country comparison to the world: 22
paved: 69,412 km (includes 734 km of expressways)

unpaved: 161,962 km (2004)



Waterways:


11,000 km (2007)
country comparison to the world: 11


Merchant marine:


total: 46
country comparison to the world: 72
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 9, chemical tanker 2, container 1,
passenger 1, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 24, refrigerated
cargo 2, roll on/roll off 1

foreign-owned: 14 (Brazil 1, Chile 7, Spain 2, UK 4)

registered in other countries: 19 (Liberia 3, Panama 8, Paraguay 5,
Uruguay 3) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Arroyo Seco, Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires, La Plata, Punta Colorada,
Rosario, San Lorenzo-San Martin







Military ::Argentina




Military branches:


Argentine Army (Ejercito Argentino), Navy of the Argentine Republic
(Armada Republica; includes naval aviation and naval infantry),
Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Argentina, FAA) (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


18-24 years of age for voluntary military service (18-21 requires
parental permission); no conscription (2001)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 10,029,488

females age 16-49: 9,889,002 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 8,264,853

females age 16-49: 8,268,498 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 341,590

female: 326,342 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


1.3% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120


Military - note:


the Argentine military is a well-organized force constrained by the
country's prolonged economic hardship; the country has recently
experienced a strong recovery, and the military is implementing a
modernization plan aimed at making the ground forces lighter and
more responsive (2008)







Transnational Issues ::Argentina




Disputes - international:


Argentina continues to assert its claims to the UK-administered
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), South Georgia, and the South
Sandwich Islands in its constitution, forcibly occupying the
Falklands in 1982, but in 1995 agreed no longer to seek settlement
by force; territorial claim in Antarctica partially overlaps UK and
Chilean claims; unruly region at convergence of
Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay borders is locus of money laundering,
smuggling, arms and illegal narcotics trafficking, and fundraising
for extremist organizations; uncontested dispute between Brazil and
Uruguay over Braziliera/Brasiliera Island in the Quarai/Cuareim
River leaves the tripoint with Argentina in question; in 2006,
Argentina went to the ICJ to protest, on environmental grounds, the
construction of two pulp mills in Uruguay on the Uruguay River,
which forms the boundary; both parties presented their pleadings in
2007 with Argentina's reply in January and Uruguay's rejoinder in
July 2008; the joint boundary commission, established by Chile and
Argentina in 2001 has yet to map and demarcate the delimited
boundary in the inhospitable Andean Southern Ice Field (Campo de
Hielo Sur)



Trafficking in persons:


current situation: Argentina is a source, transit, and destination
country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of
commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; most victims are
trafficked within the country, from rural to urban areas; child sex
tourism is a problem; foreign women and children, primarily from
Paraguay, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic, are trafficked to
Argentina for commercial sexual exploitation; Argentine women and
girls are also trafficked to neighboring countries, Mexico, and
Western Europe for sexual exploitation; a significant number of
Bolivians, Peruvians, and Paraguayans are trafficked into the
country for forced labor in sweatshops, agriculture, and as domestic
servants

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - despite some progress, Argentina
remains on the Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year for
its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat human
trafficking, particularly in terms of providing adequate assistance
to victims and curbing official complicity with trafficking
activity, especially on the provincial and local levels; the
Argentine Congress has demonstrated progress by enacting much-needed
and first-ever federal anti-trafficking legislation (2009)



Illicit drugs:


a transshipment country for cocaine headed for Europe, heroin headed
for the US, and ephedrine and pseudoephedrine headed for Mexico;
some money-laundering activity, especially in the Tri-Border Area;
law enforcement corruption; a source for precursor chemicals;
increasing domestic consumption of drugs in urban centers,
especially cocaine base and synthetic drugs (2008)









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Armenia  (Middle East)

Introduction ::Armenia




Background:


Armenia prides itself on being the first nation to formally adopt
Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over
the centuries Armenia came under the sway of various empires
including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. During
World War I in the western portion of Armenia, Ottoman Turkey
instituted a policy of forced resettlement coupled with other harsh
practices that resulted in an estimated 1 million Armenian deaths.
The eastern area of Armenia was ceded by the Ottomans to Russia in
1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was
conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920. Armenian leaders remain
preoccupied by the long conflict with Azerbaijan over
Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to
Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan
began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after
both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, ethnic Armenian forces
held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also a significant portion of
Azerbaijan proper. The economies of both sides have been hurt by
their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful
resolution. Turkey closed the common border with Armenia because of
the Armenian separatists' control of Nagorno-Karabakh and
surrounding areas.







Geography ::Armenia




Location:


Southwestern Asia, east of Turkey



Geographic coordinates:


40 00 N, 45 00 E



Map references:


Middle East



Area:


total: 29,743 sq km
country comparison to the world: 142
land: 28,203 sq km

water: 1,540 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than Maryland



Land boundaries:


total: 1,254 km

border countries: Azerbaijan-proper 566 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan
exclave 221 km, Georgia 164 km, Iran 35 km, Turkey 268 km



Coastline:


0 km (landlocked)



Maritime claims:


none (landlocked)



Climate:


highland continental, hot summers, cold winters



Terrain:


Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing
rivers; good soil in Aras River valley



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Debed River 400 m

highest point: Aragats Lerrnagagat' 4,090 m



Natural resources:


small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, bauxite



Land use:


arable land: 16.78%

permanent crops: 2.01%

other: 81.21% (2005)



Irrigated land:


2,860 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


10.5 cu km (1997)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 2.95 cu km/yr (30%/4%/66%)

per capita: 977 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts



Environment - current issues:


soil pollution from toxic chemicals such as DDT; the energy crisis
of the 1990s led to deforestation when citizens scavenged for
firewood; pollution of Hrazdan (Razdan) and Aras Rivers; the
draining of Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan), a result of its use as a
source for hydropower, threatens drinking water supplies; restart of
Metsamor nuclear power plant in spite of its location in a
seismically active zone



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate
Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification,
Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants



Geography - note:


landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake
Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain range







People ::Armenia




Population:


2,967,004 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137


Age structure:


0-14 years: 18.2% (male 289,119/female 252,150)

15-64 years: 71.1% (male 986,764/female 1,123,708)

65 years and over: 10.6% (male 122,996/female 192,267) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 31.5 years

male: 28.8 years

female: 34.4 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


-0.03% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206


Birth rate:


12.65 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160


Death rate:


8.39 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99


Net migration rate:


-4.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161


Urbanization:


urban population: 64% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: -0.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.14 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.15 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female

total population: 0.89 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 20.21 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 106
male: 24.97 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 14.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 72.68 years
country comparison to the world: 116
male: 69.06 years

female: 76.81 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.36 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


0.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


2,400 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


fewer than 200 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104


Nationality:


noun: Armenian(s)

adjective: Armenian



Ethnic groups:


Armenian 97.9%, Yezidi (Kurd) 1.3%, Russian 0.5%, other 0.3% (2001
census)



Religions:


Armenian Apostolic 94.7%, other Christian 4%, Yezidi (monotheist
with elements of nature worship) 1.3%



Languages:


Armenian 97.7%, Yezidi 1%, Russian 0.9%, other 0.4% (2001 census)



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.4%

male: 99.7%

female: 99.2% (2001 census)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 11 years

male: 11 years

female: 12 years (2006)



Education expenditures:


3.2% of GDP (2001)
country comparison to the world: 139






Government ::Armenia




Country name:


conventional long form: Republic of Armenia

conventional short form: Armenia

local long form: Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun

local short form: Hayastan

former: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, Armenian Republic



Government type:


republic



Capital:


name: Yerevan

geographic coordinates: 40 10 N, 44 30 E

time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October



Administrative divisions:


11 provinces (marzer, singular - marz); Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir,
Geghark'unik', Kotayk', Lorri, Shirak, Syunik', Tavush, Vayots'
Dzor, Yerevan



Independence:


21 September 1991 (from the Soviet Union)



National holiday:


Independence Day, 21 September (1991)



Constitution:


adopted by nationwide referendum 5 July 1995; amendments adopted
through a nationwide referendum 27 November 2005



Legal system:


based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: President Serzh SARGSIAN (since 9 April 2008)

head of government: Prime Minister Tigran SARGSIAN (since 9 April
2008)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister

elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term
(eligible for a second term); election last held 19 February 2008
(next to be held February 2013); prime minister appointed by the
president based on majority or plurality support in parliament; the
prime minister and Council of Ministers must resign if the National
Assembly refuses to accept their program

election results: Serzh SARGSIAN elected president; percent of vote
- Serzh SARGSIAN 52.9%, Levon TER-PETROSSIAN 21.5%, Artur
BAGHDASARIAN 16.7%



Legislative branch:


unicameral National Assembly (Parliament) or Azgayin Zhoghov (131
seats; members elected by popular vote, 90 members elected by party
list and 41 by direct vote; to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held 12 May 2007 (next to be held in the spring of
2012)

election results: percent of vote by party - HHK 33.9%, Prosperous
Armenia 15.1%, ARF (Dashnak) 13.2%, Rule of Law 7.1%, Heritage Party
6%, other 24.7%; seats by party - HHK 64, Prosperous Armenia 18, ARF
(Dashnak) 16, Rule of Law 9, Heritage Party 7, independent 17



Judicial branch:


Constitutional Court; Court of Cassation (Appeals Court)



Political parties and leaders:


Armenian National Congress or ANC [Levon TER-PETROSSIAN]; Armenian
National Movement or ANM [Ararat ZURABIAN]; Armenian People's Party
[Tigran KARAPETIAN]; Armenian Ramkavar Azadagan Party Alliance or
HRAK (includes former Dashink Party, National Revival Party, and
Ramkavar Liberal Party); Armenian Revolutionary Federation
("Dashnak" Party) or ARF [Hrant MARKARIAN]; Heritage Party [Raffi
HOVHANNISIAN]; National Democratic Party [Shavarsh KOCHARIAN];
National Democratic Union or NDU [Vazgen MANUKIAN]; National Unity
Party [Artashes GEGHAMIAN]; People's Party of Armenia [Stepan
DEMIRCHIAN]; Prosperous Armenia [Gagik TSAROUKIAN]; Republic Party
[Aram SARKISIAN]; Republican Party of Armenia or HHK [Serzh
SARGSIAN]; Rule of Law Party (Orinats Yerkir) [Artur BAGHDASARIAN];
Union of Constitutional Rights [Hrant KHACHATURIAN]; United Labor
Party [Gurgen ARSENIAN]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Aylentrank (Impeachment) [Nikol PASHINIAN]; Yerkrapah Union [Manvel
GRIGORIAN]



International organization participation:


ACCT (observer), ADB, BSEC, CE, CIS, CSTO, EAEC (observer), EAPC,
EBRD, FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU,
MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIF (associate member), OPCW,
OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO,
WIPO, WMO, WTO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Tatoul MARKARIAN

chancery: 2225 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 319-1976

FAX: [1] (202) 319-2982

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Marie L. YOVANOVITCH

embassy: 1 American Ave., Yerevan 0082

mailing address: American Embassy Yerevan, US Department of State,
7020 Yerevan Place, Washington, DC 20521-7020

telephone: [374](10) 464-700

FAX: [374](10) 464-742



Flag description:


three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange; the
color red recalls the blood shed for liberty, blue the Armenian
skies as well as hope, and orange the land and the courage of the
workers who farm it







Economy ::Armenia




Economy - overview:


Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia has made
progress in implementing many economic reforms including
privatization, price reforms, and prudent fiscal policies. The
conflict with Azerbaijan over the ethnic Armenian-dominated region
of Nagorno-Karabakh contributed to a severe economic decline in the
early 1990s. By 1994, however, the Armenian Government launched an
ambitious IMF-sponsored economic liberalization program that
resulted in positive growth rates. Economic growth has averaged over
10% in recent years. However, with the global economic downturn,
Armenia's growth rate dropped to 6.8% in 2008. Armenia has managed
to reduce poverty, slash inflation, stabilize its currency, and
privatize most small- and medium-sized enterprises. Under the old
Soviet central planning system, Armenia developed a modern
industrial sector, supplying machine tools, textiles, and other
manufactured goods to sister republics, in exchange for raw
materials and energy. Armenia has since switched to small-scale
agriculture and away from the large agroindustrial complexes of the
Soviet era. Nuclear power plants built at Metsamor in the 1970s were
closed following the 1988 Spitak Earthquake, though they sustained
no damage. One of the two reactors was re-opened in 1995, but the
Armenian government is under international pressure to close it due
to concerns that the Soviet era design lacks important safeguards.
Metsamor provides 40 percent of the country's electricity -
hydropower accounts for about one-fourth. Economic ties with Russia
remain close, especially in the energy sector. The electricity
distribution system was privatized in 2002 and bought by Russia's
RAO-UES in 2005. Construction of a pipeline to deliver natural gas
from Iran to Armenia was completed in December 2008 and after
testing is expected to be operational in Spring 2009, though it is
unlikely significant quantities of gas will flow through it until
the Yerevan Thermal Power Plant renovation is completed in 2010.
Armenia has some mineral deposits (copper, gold, bauxite). Pig iron,
unwrought copper, and other nonferrous metals are Armenia's highest
valued exports. Armenia's severe trade imbalance has been offset
somewhat by international aid, remittances from Armenians working
abroad, and foreign direct investment. Armenia joined the WTO in
January 2003. The government made some improvements in tax and
customs administration in recent years, but anti-corruption measures
will be more difficult to implement. Despite strong economic growth,
Armenia's unemployment rate remains high. Armenia will need to
pursue additional economic reforms in order to improve its economic
competitiveness and to build on recent improvements in poverty and
unemployment, especially given its economic isolation from two of
its nearest neighbors, Turkey and Azerbaijan. The disruption of rail
transit into Armenia during the Georgia-Russia conflict in August
2008 highlighted how vulnerable Armenia's supply chains for key
goods - such as gasoline - are to instances of regional instability.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$18.81 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126
$17.62 billion (2007 est.)

$15.48 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$11.92 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


6.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
13.8% (2007 est.)

13.2% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$6,300 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
$5,900 (2007 est.)

$5,200 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 16.7%

industry: 33.8%

services: 49.4% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


1.481 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 46.2%

industry: 15.6%

services: 38.2% (2006 est.)



Unemployment rate:


7.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89


Population below poverty line:


26.5% (2006 est.)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 1.6%

highest 10%: 41.3% (2004)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


37 (2006)
country comparison to the world: 77
44.4 (1996)



Investment (gross fixed):


39% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5


Budget:


revenues: $2.481 billion

expenditures: $2.626 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA
(2008 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
4.4% (2007 est.)



Central bank discount rate:


7.25% (2 December 2008)

NA% (31 December 2007)

note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key monetary policy
instrument of the Armenian National Bank



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


17.05% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 27
17.52% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$1.359 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 80
$1.507 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$950.1 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 96
$765.2 million (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$1.98 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 93
$1.256 billion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 110
$105 million (31 December 2007)

$60.17 million (31 December 2006)



Agriculture - products:


fruit (especially grapes), vegetables; livestock



Industries:


diamond-processing, metal-cutting machine tools, forging-pressing
machines, electric motors, tires, knitted wear, hosiery, shoes, silk
fabric, chemicals, trucks, instruments, microelectronics, jewelry
manufacturing, software development, food processing, brandy



Industrial production growth rate:


2.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93


Electricity - production:


5.584 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109


Electricity - consumption:


4.776 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108


Electricity - exports:


451.3 million kWh; note - exports an unknown quantity to Georgia;
includes exports to Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan (2007 est.)



Electricity - imports:


418.7 million kWh; note - imports an unknown quantity from Iran
(2007 est.)



Oil - production:


0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207


Oil - consumption:


48,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97


Oil - exports:


0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208


Oil - imports:


45,200 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94


Oil - proved reserves:


0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207


Natural gas - production:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207


Natural gas - consumption:


1.93 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 202


Natural gas - imports:


1.93 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46


Natural gas - proved reserves:


0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205


Current account balance:


-$1.355 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
-$589.6 million (2007 est.)



Exports:


$1.124 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151
$1.197 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


pig iron, unwrought copper, nonferrous metals, diamonds, mineral
products, foodstuffs, energy



Exports - partners:


Russia 20.2%, Germany 17.2%, Netherlands 12.2%, Belgium 8.5%,
Georgia 7.7%, Bulgaria 5.7%, US 4.9% (2008)



Imports:


$3.763 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128
$2.797 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamonds



Imports - partners:


Russia 19.3%, China 8.7%, Ukraine 7%, Turkey 6.1%, Germany 5.8%, US
4.9%, Iran 4.6% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$1.407 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
$1.659 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$3.449 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 116
$2.909 billion (31 December 2007)



Exchange rates:


drams (AMD) per US dollar - 303.93 (2008 est.), 344.06 (2007),
414.69 (2006), 457.69 (2005), 533.45 (2004)







Communications ::Armenia




Telephones - main lines in use:


650,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 91


Telephones - mobile cellular:


2.336 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 118


Telephone system:


general assessment: telecommunications investments have made major
inroads in modernizing and upgrading the outdated telecommunications
network inherited from the Soviet era; now 100% privately owned and
undergoing modernization and expansion; mobile-cellular services
monopoly terminated in late 2004 and a second provider began
operations in mid-2005

domestic: reliable modern landline and mobile-cellular services are
available across Yerevan in major cities and towns; significant but
ever-shrinking gaps remain in mobile-cellular coverage in rural areas

international: country code - 374; Yerevan is connected to the
Trans-Asia-Europe fiber-optic cable through Iran; additional
international service is available by microwave radio relay and
landline connections to the other countries of the Commonwealth of
Independent States, through the Moscow international switch, and by
satellite to the rest of the world; satellite earth stations - 3
(2007)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 9, FM 16, shortwave 1 (2006)



Television broadcast stations:


48 (private television stations alongside 2 public networks; major
Russian channels widely available) (2006)



Internet country code:


.am



Internet hosts:


36,354 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 88


Internet users:


191,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 138






Transportation ::Armenia




Airports:


11 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 153


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 10

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2009)



Pipelines:


gas 2,233 km (2008)



Railways:


total: 845 km
country comparison to the world: 99
broad gauge: 845 km 1.520-m gauge (818 km electrified)

note: some lines are out of service (2008)



Roadways:


total: 7,700 km
country comparison to the world: 144
paved: 7,700 km (includes 1,561 km of expressways) (2006)







Military ::Armenia




Military branches:


Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Air Force and Air Defense,
Nagorno-Karabakh Self Defense Force (NKSDF) (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


18-27 years of age for voluntary or compulsory military service;
2-year conscript service obligation (2007)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 809,576

females age 16-49: 870,864 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 642,734

females age 16-49: 729,047 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 27,293

female: 25,574 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


6.5% of GDP (FY01)
country comparison to the world: 8






Transnational Issues ::Armenia




Disputes - international:


Armenia supports ethnic Armenian secessionists in Nagorno-Karabakh
and since the early 1990s, has militarily occupied 16% of Azerbaijan
- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
continues to mediate dispute; over 800,000 mostly ethnic
Azerbaijanis were driven from the occupied lands and Armenia; about
230,000 ethnic Armenians were driven from their homes in Azerbaijan
into Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh; Azerbaijan seeks transit route
through Armenia to connect to Naxcivan exclave; border with Turkey
remains closed over Nagorno-Karabakh dispute; ethnic Armenian groups
in Javakheti region of Georgia seek greater autonomy; Armenians
continue to emigrate, primarily to Russia, seeking employment



Refugees and internally displaced persons:


refugees (country of origin): 113,295 (Azerbaijan)

IDPs: 8,400 (conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh,
majority have returned home since 1994 ceasefire) (2007)



Trafficking in persons:


current situation: Armenia is primarily a source country for women
and girls trafficked to the UAE and Turkey for the purpose of
commercial sexual exploitation; Armenian men and women are
trafficked to Turkey and Russia for the purpose of forced labor

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Armenia is placed on the Tier 2
Watch List for a fourth consecutive year; its efforts to increase
compliance with the minimum standards were assessed based on its
commitments to undertake future actions, particularly in the areas
of improving victim protection and assistance; while the government
elevated anti-trafficking responsibilities to the ministerial level,
adopted a new National Action Plan, and drafted a National Referral
Mechanism, it has yet to show tangible progress in identifying and
protecting victims or in tackling trafficking complicity of
government officials; the Armenian Government made some notable
improvements in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, but it
failed to demonstrate evidence of investigations, prosecutions,
convictions, and sentences of officials complicit in trafficking
(2008)



Illicit drugs:


illicit cultivation of small amount of cannabis for domestic
consumption; minor transit point for illicit drugs - mostly opium
and hashish - moving from Southwest Asia to Russia and to a lesser
extent the rest of Europe









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Aruba  (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Aruba




Background:


Discovered and claimed for Spain in 1499, Aruba was acquired by the
Dutch in 1636. The island's economy has been dominated by three main
industries. A 19th century gold rush was followed by prosperity
brought on by the opening in 1924 of an oil refinery. The last
decades of the 20th century saw a boom in the tourism industry.
Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 and became a
separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba's request in
1990.







Geography ::Aruba




Location:


Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela



Geographic coordinates:


12 30 N, 69 58 W



Map references:


Central America and the Caribbean



Area:


total: 180 sq km
country comparison to the world: 217
land: 180 sq km

water: 0 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly larger than Washington, DC



Land boundaries:


0 km



Coastline:


68.5 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm



Climate:


tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation



Terrain:


flat with a few hills; scant vegetation



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: Mount Jamanota 188 m



Natural resources:


NEGL; white sandy beaches



Land use:


arable land: 10.53%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 89.47% (2005)



Irrigated land:


0.01 sq km (1998 est.)



Natural hazards:


hurricanes; lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely
threatened



Environment - current issues:


NA



Geography - note:


a flat, riverless island renowned for its white sand beaches; its
tropical climate is moderated by constant trade winds from the
Atlantic Ocean; the temperature is almost constant at about 27
degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit)







People ::Aruba




Population:


103,065
country comparison to the world: 193
note: estimate based on a revision of the base population,
fertility, and mortality numbers, as well as a revision of 1985-99
migration estimates from outmigration to inmigration, which is
assumed to continue into the future; the new results are consistent
with the 2000 census (July 2009 est.)



Age structure:


0-14 years: 19.1% (male 9,921/female 9,758)

15-64 years: 70.3% (male 34,676/female 37,752)

65 years and over: 10.6% (male 4,351/female 6,607) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 37.8 years

male: 36 years

female: 39.5 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


1.478% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94


Birth rate:


12.79 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158


Death rate:


7.71 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117


Net migration rate:


9.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8


Urbanization:


urban population: 47% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female

total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 13.79 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 132
male: 18.28 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 9.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 75.28 years
country comparison to the world: 82
male: 72.25 years

female: 78.38 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.85 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


NA



HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


NA



HIV/AIDS - deaths:


NA



Nationality:


noun: Aruban(s)

adjective: Aruban; Dutch



Ethnic groups:


mixed white/Caribbean Amerindian 80%, other 20%



Religions:


Roman Catholic 80.8%, Evangelist 4.1%, Protestant 2.5%, Jehovah's
Witnesses 1.5%, Methodist 1.2%, Jewish 0.2%, other 5.1%, none or
unspecified 4.6%



Languages:


Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 66.3%,
Spanish 12.6%, English (widely spoken) 7.7%, Dutch (official) 5.8%,
other 2.2%, unspecified or unknown 5.3% (2000 census)



Literacy:


definition: NA

total population: 97.3%

male: 97.5%

female: 97.1% (2000 census)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 14 years

male: 13 years

female: 14 years (2006)



Education expenditures:


4.8% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 79






Government ::Aruba




Country name:


conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Aruba



Dependency status:


member country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in
internal affairs obtained in 1986 upon separation from the
Netherlands Antilles; Dutch Government responsible for defense and
foreign affairs



Government type:


parliamentary democracy



Capital:


name: Oranjestad

geographic coordinates: 12 31 N, 70 02 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)



Administrative divisions:


none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)



Independence:


none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)



National holiday:


Flag Day, 18 March (1976)



Constitution:


1 January 1986



Legal system:


based on Dutch civil law system, with some English common law
influence



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: Queen BEATRIX of the Netherlands (since 30 April
1980); represented by Governor General Fredis REFUNJOL (since 11 May
2004)

head of government: Prime Minister Mike EMAN (since 30 October 2009)

cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the Staten

elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed for
a six-year term by the monarch; prime minister and deputy prime
minister elected by the Staten for four-year terms; election last
held in 2005 (next to be held by 2009)

election results: Nelson O. ODUBER elected prime minister; percent
of legislative vote - NA



Legislative branch:


unicameral Legislature or Staten (21 seats; members elected by
direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 25 September 2009 (next to be held in 2013)

election results: percent of vote by party - AVP 48%, MEP 35.9%, PDR
5.7%; seats by party - AVP 12, MEP 8, PDR 1



Judicial branch:


Common Court of Justice of Aruba (judges are appointed by the
monarch)



Political parties and leaders:


Aliansa/Aruban Social Movement or MSA [Robert WEVER]; Aruban Liberal
Organization or OLA [Glenbert CROES]; Aruban Patriotic Movement or
MPA [Monica ARENDS-KOCK]; Aruban Patriotic Party or PPA [Benny
NISBET]; Aruban People's Party or AVP [Mike EMAN]; People's
Electoral Movement Party or MEP [Nelson O. ODUBER]; Real Democracy
or PDR [Andin BIKKER]; RED [Rudy LAMPE]; Workers Political Platform
or PTT [Gregorio WOLFF]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


other: environmental groups



International organization participation:


Caricom (observer), ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ITUC, UNESCO
(associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCL, WFTU, WMO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - Mr.
Henry BAARH, Minister Plenipotentiary for Aruba at the Embassy of
the Kingdom of the Netherlands



Diplomatic representation from the US:


the US does not have an embassy in Aruba; the Consul General to
Netherlands Antilles is accredited to Aruba



Flag description:


blue, with two narrow, horizontal, yellow stripes across the lower
portion and a red, four-pointed star outlined in white in the upper
hoist-side corner; the star represents Aruba and its red soil and
white beaches, its four points the four major languages (Papiamento,
Dutch, Spanish, English) as well as the four points of a compass, to
indicate that its inhabitants come from all over the world; the blue
symbolizes Caribbean waters and skies; the stripes represent the
island's two main "industries": the flow of tourists to the
sun-drenched beaches and the flow of minerals from the earth







Economy ::Aruba




Economy - overview:


Tourism is the mainstay of the small open Aruban economy with
offshore banking and oil refining and storage also important. The
rapid growth of the tourism sector over the last decade has resulted
in a substantial expansion of other activities. Over 1.5 million
tourists per year visit Aruba with 75% of those from the US.
Construction continues to boom with hotel capacity five times the
1985 level. In addition, the country's oil refinery reopened in 1993
providing a major source of employment, foreign exchange earnings,
and growth. Tourist arrivals have rebounded strongly following a dip
after the 11 September 2001 attacks. The island experiences only a
brief low season. Hotel occupancy in 2004 averaged 80% compared to
68% throughout the rest of the Caribbean. The government has made
cutting the budget and trade deficits a high priority.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$2.258 billion (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181
$2.205 billion (2004 est.)



GDP (official exchange rate):


$2.258 billion (2005 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


2.4% (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143


GDP - per capita (PPP):


$21,800 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56


GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 0.4%

industry: 33.3%

services: 66.3% (2002 est.)



Labor force:


41,500 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%

note: most employment is in wholesale and retail trade and repair,
followed by hotels and restaurants; oil refining



Unemployment rate:


6.9% (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86


Population below poverty line:


NA%



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%



Budget:


revenues: $507.9 million

expenditures: $577.9 million (2005 est.)



Public debt:


46.3% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 42


Inflation rate (consumer prices):


3.4% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 41


Central bank discount rate:


5% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 91
5% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


11.23% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 74
11.01% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$780.4 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 90
$640.9 million (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$890.3 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 98
$792.9 million (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$1.321 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 102
$1.348 billion (31 December 2007)



Agriculture - products:


aloes; livestock; fish



Industries:


tourism, transshipment facilities, oil refining



Industrial production growth rate:


NA%



Electricity - production:


850 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148


Electricity - consumption:


790.5 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


2,351 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102


Oil - consumption:


8,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154


Oil - exports:


231,100 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49


Oil - imports:


236,400 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42


Oil - proved reserves:


0 bbl
country comparison to the world: 99


Natural gas - production:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93


Natural gas - consumption:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 44


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68


Natural gas - proved reserves:


0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104


Exports:


$124 million (2006); note - includes oil reexports
country comparison to the world: 189


Exports - commodities:


live animals and animal products, art and collectibles, machinery
and electrical equipment, transport equipment



Exports - partners:


Panama 22.3%, Colombia 19.5%, Venezuela 17.1%, US 13.8%, Netherlands
Antilles 10.8%, Netherlands 7.3% (2008)



Imports:


$1.054 billion (2006)
country comparison to the world: 170


Imports - commodities:


machinery and electrical equipment, crude oil for refining and
reexport, chemicals; foodstuffs



Imports - partners:


US 53.3%, Netherlands 11.8%, UK 4.6% (2008)



Debt - external:


$478.6 million (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165


Exchange rates:


Aruban guilders/florins (AWG) per US dollar - NA (2007), 1.79
(2006), 1.79 (2005), 1.79 (2004), 1.79 (2003)







Communications ::Aruba




Telephones - main lines in use:


38,500 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 170


Telephones - mobile cellular:


127,100 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 179


Telephone system:


general assessment: modern fully automatic telecommunications system

domestic: increased competition through privatization; 3 wireless
service providers are now licensed

international: country code - 297; landing site for the PAN-AM
submarine telecommunications cable system that extends from the US
Virgin Islands through Aruba to Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and the
west coast of South America; extensive interisland microwave radio
relay links (2007)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 2, FM 16, shortwave 0 (2004)



Television broadcast stations:


1 (1997)



Internet country code:


.aw



Internet hosts:


25,051 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 95


Internet users:


24,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 184






Transportation ::Aruba




Airports:


1 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 211


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2009)



Ports and terminals:


Barcadera, Oranjestad, Sint Nicolaas







Military ::Aruba




Military branches:


no regular military forces; the Netherlands maintains a detachment
of marines, a frigate, and an amphibious combat detachment in the
neighboring Netherlands Antilles (2009)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 24,585

females age 16-49: 25,742 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 20,287

females age 16-49: 21,232 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 722

female: 711 (2009 est.)



Military - note:


defense is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands







Transnational Issues ::Aruba




Disputes - international:


none



Illicit drugs:


transit point for US- and Europe-bound narcotics with some
accompanying money-laundering activity; relatively high percentage
of population consumes cocaine









page last updated on November 10, 2009

======================================================================




@Ashmore and Cartier Islands  (Australia-Oceania)

Introduction ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands




Background:


These uninhabited islands came under Australian authority in 1931;
formal administration began two years later. Ashmore Reef supports a
rich and diverse avian and marine habitat; in 1983, it became a
National Nature Reserve. Cartier Island, a former bombing range,
became a marine reserve in 2000.







Geography ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands




Location:


Southeastern Asia, islands in the Indian Ocean, midway between
northwestern Australia and Timor island



Geographic coordinates:


12 14 S, 123 05 E



Map references:


Oceania



Area:


total: 5 sq km
country comparison to the world: 245
land: 5 sq km

water: 0 sq km

note: includes Ashmore Reef (West, Middle, and East Islets) and
Cartier Island



Area - comparative:


about eight times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC



Land boundaries:


0 km



Coastline:


74.1 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation



Climate:


tropical



Terrain:


low with sand and coral



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: unnamed location 3 m



Natural resources:


fish



Land use:


arable land: 0%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 100% (all grass and sand) (2005)



Irrigated land:


0 sq km



Natural hazards:


surrounded by shoals and reefs that can pose maritime hazards



Environment - current issues:


illegal killing of protected wildlife by traditional Indonesian
fisherman, as well as fishing by non-traditional Indonesian vessels,
are ongoing problems



Geography - note:


Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve established in August 1983;
Cartier Island Marine Reserve established in 2000







People ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands




Population:


no indigenous inhabitants

note: Indonesian fishermen are allowed access to the lagoon and
fresh water at Ashmore Reef's West Island; access to East and Middle
Islands is by permit only







Government ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands




Country name:


conventional long form: Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands

conventional short form: Ashmore and Cartier Islands



Dependency status:


territory of Australia; administered by the Australian Government
Attorney-General's Department



Legal system:


the laws of the Commonwealth of Australia and the laws of the
Northern Territory of Australia, where applicable, apply



Diplomatic representation in the US:


none (territory of Australia)



Diplomatic representation from the US:


none (territory of Australia)



Flag description:


the flag of Australia is used







Economy ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands




Economy - overview:


no economic activity








Transportation ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands




Ports and terminals:


none; offshore anchorage only







Military ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands




Military - note:


defense is the responsibility of Australia; periodic visits by the
Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force







Transnational Issues ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands




Disputes - international:


as the closest Australian territory to Indonesia, these islands
became the target of human traffickers for the landing of illegal
immigrants; in 2001, the Australian government removed these islands
from the Australian Migration Zone making illegal arrivals
ineligible for temporary visas and entry into Australia









page last updated on July 2, 2009

======================================================================




@Atlantic Ocean  (Oceans)

Introduction ::Atlantic Ocean




Background:


The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world's five oceans
(after the Pacific Ocean, but larger than the Indian Ocean, Southern
Ocean, and Arctic Ocean). The Kiel Canal (Germany), Oresund
(Denmark-Sweden), Bosporus (Turkey), Strait of Gibraltar
(Morocco-Spain), and the Saint Lawrence Seaway (Canada-US) are
important strategic access waterways. The decision by the
International Hydrographic Organization in the spring of 2000 to
delimit a fifth world ocean, the Southern Ocean, removed the portion
of the Atlantic Ocean south of 60 degrees south latitude.







Geography ::Atlantic Ocean




Location:


body of water between Africa, Europe, the Southern Ocean, and the
Western Hemisphere



Geographic coordinates:


0 00 N, 25 00 W



Map references:


Political Map of the World



Area:


total: 76.762 million sq km

note: includes Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Caribbean Sea, Davis Strait,
Denmark Strait, part of the Drake Passage, Gulf of Mexico, Labrador
Sea, Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, Norwegian Sea, almost all of the
Scotia Sea, and other tributary water bodies



Area - comparative:


slightly less than 6.5 times the size of the US



Coastline:


111,866 km



Climate:


tropical cyclones (hurricanes) develop off the coast of Africa near
Cape Verde and move westward into the Caribbean Sea; hurricanes can
occur from May to December but are most frequent from August to
November



Terrain:


surface usually covered with sea ice in Labrador Sea, Denmark
Strait, and coastal portions of the Baltic Sea from October to June;
clockwise warm-water gyre (broad, circular system of currents) in
the northern Atlantic, counterclockwise warm-water gyre in the
southern Atlantic; the ocean floor is dominated by the Mid-Atlantic
Ridge, a rugged north-south centerline for the entire Atlantic basin



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Milwaukee Deep in the Puerto Rico Trench -8,605 m

highest point: sea level 0 m



Natural resources:


oil and gas fields, fish, marine mammals (seals and whales), sand
and gravel aggregates, placer deposits, polymetallic nodules,
precious stones



Natural hazards:


icebergs common in Davis Strait, Denmark Strait, and the
northwestern Atlantic Ocean from February to August and have been
spotted as far south as Bermuda and the Madeira Islands; ships
subject to superstructure icing in extreme northern Atlantic from
October to May; persistent fog can be a maritime hazard from May to
September; hurricanes (May to December)



Environment - current issues:


endangered marine species include the manatee, seals, sea lions,
turtles, and whales; drift net fishing is hastening the decline of
fish stocks and contributing to international disputes; municipal
sludge pollution off eastern US, southern Brazil, and eastern
Argentina; oil pollution in Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Lake
Maracaibo, Mediterranean Sea, and North Sea; industrial waste and
municipal sewage pollution in Baltic Sea, North Sea, and
Mediterranean Sea



Geography - note:


major chokepoints include the Dardanelles, Strait of Gibraltar,
access to the Panama and Suez Canals; strategic straits include the
Strait of Dover, Straits of Florida, Mona Passage, The Sound
(Oresund), and Windward Passage; the Equator divides the Atlantic
Ocean into the North Atlantic Ocean and South Atlantic Ocean









Economy ::Atlantic Ocean




Economy - overview:


The Atlantic Ocean provides some of the world's most heavily
trafficked sea routes, between and within the Eastern and Western
Hemispheres. Other economic activity includes the exploitation of
natural resources, e.g., fishing, dredging of aragonite sands (The
Bahamas), and production of crude oil and natural gas (Caribbean
Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and North Sea).








Transportation ::Atlantic Ocean




Ports and terminals:


Alexandria (Egypt), Algiers (Algeria), Antwerp (Belgium), Barcelona
(Spain), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Casablanca (Morocco), Colon
(Panama), Copenhagen (Denmark), Dakar (Senegal), Gdansk (Poland),
Hamburg (Germany), Helsinki (Finland), Las Palmas (Canary Islands,
Spain), Le Havre (France), Lisbon (Portugal), London (UK), Marseille
(France), Montevideo (Uruguay), Montreal (Canada), Naples (Italy),
New Orleans (US), New York (US), Oran (Algeria), Oslo (Norway),
Peiraiefs or Piraeus (Greece), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Rotterdam
(Netherlands), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Stockholm (Sweden)



Transportation - note:


Kiel Canal and Saint Lawrence Seaway are two important waterways;
significant domestic commercial and recreational use of Intracoastal
Waterway on central and south Atlantic seaboard and Gulf of Mexico
coast of US; the International Maritime Bureau reports the
territorial waters of littoral states and offshore Atlantic waters
as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships,
particularly in the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa, the east coast
of Brazil, and the Caribbean Sea; numerous commercial vessels have
been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway;
hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargoes stolen; crews have
been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen








Transnational Issues ::Atlantic Ocean




Disputes - international:


some maritime disputes (see littoral states)









page last updated on October 22, 2009

======================================================================




@Australia  (Australia-Oceania)

Introduction ::Australia




Background:


Aboriginal settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia
about 40,000 years before the first Europeans began exploration in
the 17th century. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770,
when Capt. James COOK took possession in the name of Great Britain.
Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries; they
federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The new
country took advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop
agricultural and manufacturing industries and to make a major
contribution to the British effort in World Wars I and II. In recent
decades, Australia has transformed itself into an internationally
competitive, advanced market economy. It boasted one of the OECD's
fastest growing economies during the 1990s, a performance due in
large part to economic reforms adopted in the 1980s. Long-term
concerns include climate-change issues such as the depletion of the
ozone layer and more frequent droughts, and management and
conservation of coastal areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef.







Geography ::Australia




Location:


Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific
Ocean



Geographic coordinates:


27 00 S, 133 00 E



Map references:


Oceania



Area:


total: 7,741,220 sq km
country comparison to the world: 6
land: 7,682,300 sq km

water: 58,920 sq km

note: includes Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 states



Land boundaries:


0 km



Coastline:


25,760 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin



Climate:


generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in
north



Terrain:


mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Lake Eyre -15 m

highest point: Mount Kosciuszko 2,229 m



Natural resources:


bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel,
tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum

note: Australia is the world's largest net exporter of coal
accounting for 29% of global coal exports



Land use:


arable land: 6.15% (includes about 27 million hectares of cultivated
grassland)

permanent crops: 0.04%

other: 93.81% (2005)



Irrigated land:


25,450 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


398 cu km (1995)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 24.06 cu km/yr (15%/10%/75%)

per capita: 1,193 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest fires



Environment - current issues:


soil erosion from overgrazing, industrial development, urbanization,
and poor farming practices; soil salinity rising due to the use of
poor quality water; desertification; clearing for agricultural
purposes threatens the natural habitat of many unique animal and
plant species; the Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast, the
largest coral reef in the world, is threatened by increased shipping
and its popularity as a tourist site; limited natural fresh water
resources



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living
Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94,
Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


world's smallest continent but sixth-largest country; population
concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts; the
invigorating sea breeze known as the "Fremantle Doctor" affects the
city of Perth on the west coast and is one of the most consistent
winds in the world







People ::Australia




Population:


21,262,641 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54


Age structure:


0-14 years: 18.6% (male 2,026,975/female 1,923,828)

15-64 years: 67.9% (male 7,318,743/female 7,121,613)

65 years and over: 13.5% (male 1,306,329/female 1,565,153) (2009
est.)



Median age:


total: 37.3 years

male: 36.6 years

female: 38.1 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


1.195% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112


Birth rate:


12.47 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164


Death rate:


6.74 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145


Net migration rate:


6.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15


Urbanization:


urban population: 89% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 4.75 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 196
male: 5.08 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 4.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 81.63 years
country comparison to the world: 7
male: 79.25 years

female: 84.14 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.78 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


0.2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


18,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


fewer than 100 200 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128


Nationality:


noun: Australian(s)

adjective: Australian



Ethnic groups:


white 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%



Religions:


Catholic 25.8%, Anglican 18.7%, Uniting Church 5.7%, Presbyterian
and Reformed 3%, Eastern Orthodox 2.7%, other Christian 7.9%,
Buddhist 2.1%, Muslim 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 11.3%, none
18.7% (2006 Census)



Languages:


English 78.5%, Chinese 2.5%, Italian 1.6%, Greek 1.3%, Arabic 1.2%,
Vietnamese 1%, other 8.2%, unspecified 5.7% (2006 Census)



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99%

male: 99%

female: 99% (2003 est.)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 20 years

male: 20 years

female: 21 years (2006)



Education expenditures:


4.5% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 86






Government ::Australia




Country name:


conventional long form: Commonwealth of Australia

conventional short form: Australia



Government type:


federal parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm



Capital:


name: Canberra

geographic coordinates: 35 17 S, 149 13 E

time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in October; ends last
Sunday in March

note: Australia is divided into three time zones



Administrative divisions:


6 states and 2 territories*; Australian Capital Territory*, New
South Wales, Northern Territory*, Queensland, South Australia,
Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia



Dependent areas:


Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling)
Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands,
Macquarie Island, Norfolk Island



Independence:


1 January 1901 (federation of UK colonies)



National holiday:


Australia Day, 26 January (1788); ANZAC Day (commemorated as the
anniversary of the landing of troops of the Australian and New
Zealand Army Corps during World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey), 25
April (1915)



Constitution:


9 July 1900; effective 1 January 1901



Legal system:


based on English common law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
with reservations



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal and compulsory



Executive branch:


chief of state: Queen of Australia ELIZABETH II (since 6 February
1952); represented by Governor General Quentin BRYCE (since 5
September 2008)

head of government: Prime Minister Kevin RUDD (since 3 December
2007); Deputy Prime Minister Julia GILLARD (since 3 December 2007)

cabinet: prime minister nominates, from among members of Parliament,
candidates who are subsequently sworn in by the governor general to
serve as government ministers

elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by
the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; following
legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of
a majority coalition is sworn in as prime minister by the governor
general



Legislative branch:


bicameral Federal Parliament consists of the Senate (76 seats; 12
members from each of the six states and 2 from each of the two
mainland territories; one-half of state members are elected every
three years by popular vote to serve six-year terms while all
territory members are elected every three years) and the House of
Representatives (150 seats; members elected by popular preferential
vote to serve terms of up to three-years; no state can have fewer
than 5 representatives)

elections: Senate - last held 24 November 2007 (next to be held no
later than 2010); House of Representatives - last held 24 November
2007 (next to be called no later than 2010)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by
party - Liberal Party-National Party coalition 37, Australian Labor
Party 32, Australian Greens 5, Family First Party 1, independent 1;
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by
party - Australian Labor Party 83, Liberal Party 55, National Party
10, independents 2



Judicial branch:


High Court (the chief justice and six other justices are appointed
by the governor general)



Political parties and leaders:


Australian Democrats [Lyn ALLISON]; Australian Greens [Bob BROWN];
Australian Labor Party [Kevin RUDD]; Country Liberal Party [Terry
MILLS]; Family First Party [Steve FIELDING]; Liberal Party [Malcolm
TURNBULL]; The Nationals [Warren TRUSS]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


other: business groups; environmental groups; social groups; trade
unions



International organization participation:


ADB, ANZUS, APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group,
BIS, C, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, G-20, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM,
IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM,
IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OECD, OPCW,
Paris Club, PCA, PIF, SAARC (observer), Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD,
UNESCO, UNHCR, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU,
WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Dennis J. RICHARDSON

chancery: 1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 797-3000

FAX: [1] (202) 797-3168

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New
York, San Francisco



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Robert D. McCALLUM, Jr.

embassy: Moonah Place, Yarralumla, Canberra, Australian Capital
Territory 2600

mailing address: APO AP 96549

telephone: [61] (02) 6214-5600

FAX: [61] (02) 6214-5970

consulate(s) general: Melbourne, Perth, Sydney



Flag description:


blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and a
large seven-pointed star in the lower hoist-side quadrant known as
the Commonwealth or Federation Star, representing the federation of
the colonies of Australia in 1901; the star depicts one point for
each of the six original states and one representing all of
Australia's internal and external territories; on the fly half is a
representation of the Southern Cross constellation in white with one
small five-pointed star and four larger, seven-pointed stars







Economy ::Australia




Economy - overview:


Australia has an enviable, strong economy with a per capita GDP on
par with the four dominant West European economies. Emphasis on
reforms, low inflation, a housing market boom, and growing ties with
China have been key factors over the course of the economy's 17
solid years of expansion. Robust business and consumer confidence
and high export prices for raw materials and agricultural products
fueled the economy in recent years, particularly in mining states.
Drought, robust import demand, and a strong currency pushed the
trade deficit up however, while infrastructure bottlenecks and a
tight labor market constrained growth in export volumes and stoked
inflation through mid-2008. The unwinding of the yen-based carry
trade in late 2008 has contributed to a weakening of the Australian
dollar. Tight global liquidity has challenged Australia's banking
sector, which relies heavily on international wholesale markets for
funding. The economy remains relatively healthy despite falling
export commodity prices. The government plans to counter slowing
growth in 2009 with fiscal stimulus efforts.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$802.9 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
$784.1 billion (2007 est.)

$753.9 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$1.013 trillion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


2.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
4% (2007 est.)

2.8% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$38,200 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
$37,800 (2007 est.)

$36,800 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 3.4%

industry: 26.8%

services: 69.8% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


11.25 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 3.6%

industry: 21.1%

services: 75% (2005 est.)



Unemployment rate:


4.2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
4.4% (2007 est.)



Population below poverty line:


NA%



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 2%

highest 10%: 25.4% (1994)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


30.5 (2006)
country comparison to the world: 111
35.2 (1994)



Investment (gross fixed):


28.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27


Budget:


revenues: $350.3 billion

expenditures: $332.4 billion (2008 est.)



Public debt:


14.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
17.4% of GDP (2004 est.)

note: the Commonwealth government eliminated its net debt in 2006,
but continues a gross debt issue to support the market for risk-free
securities



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


4.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
2.3% (2007 est.)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


8.91% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 84
10.02% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$298.5 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$667.2 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$1.312 trillion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 13
$1.298 trillion (31 December 2007)

$1.096 trillion (31 December 2006)



Agriculture - products:


wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits, cattle, sheep, poultry



Industries:


mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing,
chemicals, steel



Industrial production growth rate:


3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86


Electricity - production:


239.9 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17


Electricity - consumption:


222 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


586,400 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30


Oil - consumption:


953,700 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21


Oil - exports:


332,400 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37


Oil - imports:


687,200 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19


Oil - proved reserves:


1.5 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35


Natural gas - production:


45.22 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20


Natural gas - consumption:


34.2 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26


Natural gas - exports:


19.48 billion cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 12


Natural gas - imports:


5.377 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31


Natural gas - proved reserves:


849.5 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28


Current account balance:


-$44.04 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
-$57.68 billion (2007 est.)



Exports:


$189.9 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
$142.4 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


coal, iron ore, gold, meat, wool, alumina, wheat, machinery and
transport equipment



Exports - partners:


Japan 22.2%, China 14.6%, South Korea 8.2%, India 6.1%, US 5.5%, NZ
4.3%, UK 4.2% (2008)



Imports:


$194.2 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
$160.2 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


machinery and transport equipment, computers and office machines,
telecommunication equipment and parts; crude oil and petroleum
products



Imports - partners:


China 15.4%, US 12%, Japan 9.1%, Singapore 7%, Germany 5%, Thailand
4.5%, UK 4.3%, Malaysia 4.1% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$32.92 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
$26.91 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$799.8 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 14
$820.4 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:


$366.5 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
$337.5 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:


$197.2 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
$290.4 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Exchange rates:


Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar - 1.2059 (2008 est.), 1.2137
(2007), 1.3285 (2006), 1.3095 (2005), 1.3598 (2004)







Communications ::Australia




Telephones - main lines in use:


9.37 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 24


Telephones - mobile cellular:


22.12 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 36


Telephone system:


general assessment: excellent domestic and international service

domestic: domestic satellite system; significant use of
radiotelephone in areas of low population density; rapid growth of
mobile cellular telephones

international: country code - 61; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3
optical telecommunications submarine cable with links to Asia, the
Middle East, and Europe; the Southern Cross fiber optic submarine
cable provides links to New Zealand and the United States; satellite
earth stations - 19 (10 Intelsat - 4 Indian Ocean and 6 Pacific
Ocean, 2 Inmarsat - Indian and Pacific Ocean regions, 2 Globalstar,
5 other) (2007)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 262, FM 345, shortwave 1 (1998)



Television broadcast stations:


104 (1997)



Internet country code:


.au



Internet hosts:


11.756 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 10


Internet users:


15.17 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 24






Transportation ::Australia




Airports:


464 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 17


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 325

over 3,047 m: 11

2,438 to 3,047 m: 13

1,524 to 2,437 m: 145

914 to 1,523 m: 142

under 914 m: 14 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 139

1,524 to 2,437 m: 17

914 to 1,523 m: 110

under 914 m: 12 (2009)



Heliports:


1 (2009)



Pipelines:


gas 27,105 km; liquid petroleum gas 240 km; oil 3,258 km;
oil/gas/water 1 km (2008)



Railways:


total: 37,855 km
country comparison to the world: 7
broad gauge: 142 km 1.600-m gauge

standard gauge: 24,409 km 1.435-m gauge (1,094 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 13,304 km 1.067-m gauge (1,193 km electrified) (2008)



Roadways:


total: 812,972 km
country comparison to the world: 9
paved: 341,448 km

unpaved: 471,524 km (2004)



Waterways:


2,000 km (mainly used for recreation on Murray and Murray-Darling
river systems) (2006)
country comparison to the world: 45


Merchant marine:


total: 50
country comparison to the world: 71
by type: bulk carrier 12, cargo 5, chemical tanker 1, container 1,
liquefied gas 4, passenger 7, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 8,
roll on/roll off 5

foreign-owned: 24 (Canada 9, France 1, Germany 2, Japan 1,
Netherlands 2, Norway 1, Singapore 1, UK 5, US 2)

registered in other countries: 28 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Belize 1,
Bermuda 1, Dominica 2, Fiji 1, Marshall Islands 1, NZ 1, Panama 4,
Singapore 12, Tonga 1, US 1, Vanuatu 2) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Brisbane, Dampier, Fremantle, Gladstone, Hay Point, Melbourne,
Newcastle, Port Hedland, Port Kembla, Port Walcott, Sydney







Military ::Australia




Military branches:


Australian Defense Force (ADF): Australian Army, Royal Australian
Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Special Operations Command (2006)



Military service age and obligation:


17 years of age for voluntary military service (with parental
consent); no conscription; women allowed to serve in Army combat
units in non-combat support roles (2008)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 4,999,988

females age 16-49: 4,870,043 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 4,341,591

females age 16-49: 4,179,659 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 144,959

female: 137,333 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


2.4% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 69






Transnational Issues ::Australia




Disputes - international:


Timor-Leste and Australia agreed in 2005 to defer the disputed
portion of the boundary for 50 years and to split hydrocarbon
revenues evenly outside the Joint Petroleum Development Area covered
by the 2002 Timor Sea Treaty; dispute with Timor-Leste hampers
creation of a revised maritime boundary with Indonesia in the Timor
Sea; regional states continue to express concern over Australia's
2004 declaration of a 1,000-nautical mile-wide maritime
identification zone; Australia asserts land and maritime claims to
Antarctica; in 2004 Australia submitted its claims to Commission on
the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) to extend its continental
margins covering over 3.37 million square kilometers, expanding its
seabed roughly 30 percent more than its claimed exclusive economic
zone; since 2003, Australia has led the Regional Assistance Mission
to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) to maintain civil and political order
and reinforce regional security



Illicit drugs:


Tasmania is one of the world's major suppliers of licit opiate
products; government maintains strict controls over areas of opium
poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate; major
consumer of cocaine and amphetamines









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Austria  (Europe)

Introduction ::Austria




Background:


Once the center of power for the large Austro-Hungarian Empire,
Austria was reduced to a small republic after its defeat in World
War I. Following annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938 and subsequent
occupation by the victorious Allies in 1945, Austria's status
remained unclear for a decade. A State Treaty signed in 1955 ended
the occupation, recognized Austria's independence, and forbade
unification with Germany. A constitutional law that same year
declared the country's "perpetual neutrality" as a condition for
Soviet military withdrawal. The Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 and
Austria's entry into the European Union in 1995 have altered the
meaning of this neutrality. A prosperous, democratic country,
Austria entered the EU Economic and Monetary Union in 1999. In
January 2009, Austria assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security
Council for the 2009-10 term.







Geography ::Austria




Location:


Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia



Geographic coordinates:


47 20 N, 13 20 E



Map references:


Europe



Area:


total: 83,871 sq km
country comparison to the world: 113
land: 82,445 sq km

water: 1,426 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than Maine



Land boundaries:


total: 2,562 km

border countries: Czech Republic 362 km, Germany 784 km, Hungary 366
km, Italy 430 km, Liechtenstein 35 km, Slovakia 91 km, Slovenia 330
km, Switzerland 164 km



Coastline:


0 km (landlocked)



Maritime claims:


none (landlocked)



Climate:


temperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain and
some snow in lowlands and snow in mountains; moderate summers with
occasional showers



Terrain:


in the west and south mostly mountains (Alps); along the eastern and
northern margins mostly flat or gently sloping



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Neusiedler See 115 m

highest point: Grossglockner 3,798 m



Natural resources:


oil, coal, lignite, timber, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony,
magnesite, tungsten, graphite, salt, hydropower



Land use:


arable land: 16.59%

permanent crops: 0.85%

other: 82.56% (2005)



Irrigated land:


40 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


84 cu km (2005)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 3.67 cu km/yr (35%/64%/1%)

per capita: 448 cu m/yr (1999)



Natural hazards:


landslides; avalanches; earthquakes



Environment - current issues:


some forest degradation caused by air and soil pollution; soil
pollution results from the use of agricultural chemicals; air
pollution results from emissions by coal- and oil-fired power
stations and industrial plants and from trucks transiting Austria
between northern and southern Europe



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85,
Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds,
Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94,
Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


landlocked; strategic location at the crossroads of central Europe
with many easily traversable Alpine passes and valleys; major river
is the Danube; population is concentrated on eastern lowlands
because of steep slopes, poor soils, and low temperatures elsewhere







People ::Austria




Population:


8,210,281 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92


Age structure:


0-14 years: 14.5% (male 609,748/female 581,144)

15-64 years: 67.5% (male 2,785,091/female 2,756,402)

65 years and over: 18% (male 612,613/female 865,283) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 42.2 years

male: 41.1 years

female: 43.2 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


0.052% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196


Birth rate:


8.65 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 217


Death rate:


9.98 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66


Net migration rate:


1.85 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45


Urbanization:


urban population: 67% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 4.42 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 202
male: 5.39 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 79.5 years
country comparison to the world: 27
male: 76.6 years

female: 82.56 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.39 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


0.2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


9,800 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


fewer than 100 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153


Nationality:


noun: Austrian(s)

adjective: Austrian



Ethnic groups:


Austrians 91.1%, former Yugoslavs 4% (includes Croatians, Slovenes,
Serbs, and Bosniaks), Turks 1.6%, German 0.9%, other or unspecified
2.4% (2001 census)



Religions:


Roman Catholic 73.6%, Protestant 4.7%, Muslim 4.2%, other 3.5%,
unspecified 2%, none 12% (2001 census)



Languages:


German (official nationwide) 88.6%, Turkish 2.3%, Serbian 2.2%,
Croatian (official in Burgenland) 1.6%, other (includes Slovene,
official in Carinthia, and Hungarian, official in Burgenland) 5.3%
(2001 census)



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98%

male: NA

female: NA



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 15 years

male: 15 years

female: 16 years (2006)



Education expenditures:


5.4% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 52






Government ::Austria




Country name:


conventional long form: Republic of Austria

conventional short form: Austria

local long form: Republik Oesterreich

local short form: Oesterreich



Government type:


federal republic



Capital:


name: Vienna

geographic coordinates: 48 12 N, 16 22 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October



Administrative divisions:


9 states (Bundeslaender, singular - Bundesland); Burgenland,
Kaernten (Carinthia), Niederoesterreich (Lower Austria),
Oberoesterreich (Upper Austria), Salzburg, Steiermark (Styria),
Tirol (Tyrol), Vorarlberg, Wien (Vienna)



Independence:


976 (Margravate of Austria established); 17 September 1156 (Duchy of
Austria founded); 11 August 1804 (Austrian Empire proclaimed); 12
November 1918 (republic proclaimed)



National holiday:


National Day, 26 October (1955); note - commemorates the passage of
the law on permanent neutrality



Constitution:


1920; revised 1929; reinstated 1 May 1945; note - during the period
1 May 1934-1 May 1945 there was a fascist (corporative) constitution
in place



Legal system:


civil law system with Roman law origin; judicial review of
legislative acts by the Constitutional Court; separate
administrative and civil/penal supreme courts; accepts compulsory
ICJ jurisdiction



Suffrage:


16 years of age; universal; note - reduced from 18 years of age in
2007



Executive branch:


chief of state: President Heinz FISCHER (SPOe) (since 8 July 2004)

head of government: Chancellor Werner FAYMANN (SPOe) (since 2
December 2008); Vice Chancellor Josef PROELL (OeVP) (since 2
December 2008)

cabinet: Council of Ministers chosen by the president on the advice
of the chancellor

elections: president elected by direct popular vote for a six-year
term (eligible for a second term); presidential election last held
25 April 2004 (next to be held in April 2010); chancellor formally
chosen by the president but determined by the coalition parties
forming a parliamentary majority; vice chancellor chosen by the
president on the advice of the chancellor

election results: Heinz FISCHER elected president; percent of vote -
Heinz FISCHER 52.4%, Benita FERRERO-WALDNER 47.6%

note: government coalition - SPOe and OeVP



Legislative branch:


bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung consists of Federal
Council or Bundesrat (62 seats; members chosen by state parliaments
with each state receiving 3 to 12 members in proportion to its
population; members serve five- or six-year terms) and the National
Council or Nationalrat (183 seats; members elected by direct popular
vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: National Council - last held 28 September 2008 (next to
be held by September 2013)

election results: National Council - percent of vote by party - SPOe
29.3%, OeVP 26%, FPOe 17.5%, BZOe 10.7%, Greens 10.4%, other 6.1%;
seats by party - SPOe 57, OeVP 51, FPOe 34, BZOe 21, Greens 20



Judicial branch:


Supreme Judicial Court or Oberster Gerichtshof; Administrative Court
or Verwaltungsgerichtshof; Constitutional Court or
Verfassungsgerichtshof



Political parties and leaders:


Alliance for the Future of Austria or BZOe [Josef BUCHER]; Austrian
People's Party or OeVP [Josef PROELL]; Freedom Party of Austria or
FPOe [Heinz Christian STRACHE]; Social Democratic Party of Austria
or SPOe [Werner FAYMANN]; The Greens [Eva GLAWISCHNIG]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Austrian Trade Union Federation or OeGB (nominally independent but
primarily Social Democratic); Federal Economic Chamber;
OeVP-oriented Association of Austrian Industrialists or IV; Roman
Catholic Church, including its chief lay organization, Catholic
Action

other: three composite leagues of the Austrian People's Party or
OeVP representing business, labor, farmers, and other nongovernment
organizations in the areas of environment and human rights



International organization participation:


ACCT (observer), ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional
member), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC,
EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC,
ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol,
IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM (guest),
NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, Paris
Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD,
UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNOMIG, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU,
WCL, WCO, WEU (observer), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Christian PROSL

chancery: 3524 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008-3035

telephone: [1] (202) 895-6700

FAX: [1] (202) 895-6750

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Scott F.
KILNER

embassy: Boltzmanngasse 16, A-1090, Vienna

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [43] (1) 31339-0

FAX: [43] (1) 3100682



Flag description:


three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and red; the flag
design is certainly one of the oldest - if not the oldest - national
banners in the world; according to tradition, following a fierce
battle in the Third Crusade, Duke Leopold V of Austria's white tunic
became completely blood-spattered; upon removal of his wide belt or
sash, a white band was revealed; the red-white-red color combination
was subsequently adopted as his banner







Economy ::Austria




Economy - overview:


Austria, with its well-developed market economy and high standard of
living, is closely tied to other EU economies, especially Germany's.
Its economy features a large service sector, a sound industrial
sector, and a small, but highly developed agricultural sector.
Following several years of solid foreign demand for Austrian exports
and record employment growth, the global economic downturn in 2008
led to a recession that is likely to persist through 2009. The
government's stabilization measures could increase the budget
deficit to about 2.8% of GDP in 2009 and above 3% in 2010, from
about 0.6% in 2008. The Austrian economy has benefited greatly in
the past from strong commercial relations, especially in the banking
and insurance sectors, with central, eastern, and southeastern
Europe, but these sectors have been vulnerable to recent
international financial instabilities, and some of Austria's largest
banks have required government support. Even after the global
economic outlook improves, Austria will need to continue
restructuring, emphasizing knowledge-based sectors of the economy,
and encouraging greater labor flexibility and greater labor
participation to offset its aging population and exceedingly low
fertility rate.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$331.2 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
$324.7 billion (2007 est.)

$313.7 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$414.8 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159
3.5% (2007 est.)

3.5% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$40,400 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
$39,600 (2007 est.)

$38,300 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 1.9%

industry: 30.7%

services: 67.4% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


3.633 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 5.5%

industry: 27.5%

services: 67% (2005 est.)



Unemployment rate:


3.9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
4.4% (2007 est.)



Population below poverty line:


5.9% (2004)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 3.3%

highest 10%: 22.5% (2004)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


26 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 125
31 (1995)



Investment (gross fixed):


22.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76


Budget:


revenues: $196.4 billion

expenditures: $200.7 billion (2008 est.)



Public debt:


62.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
64.2% of GDP (2004 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


3.2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
2.2% (2007 est.)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


6.82% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 128
6.3% (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$606.2 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 18
$504.8 billion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 34
$228.7 billion (31 December 2007)

$191.3 billion (31 December 2006)



Agriculture - products:


grains, potatoes, sugar beets, wine, fruit; dairy products, cattle,
pigs, poultry; lumber



Industries:


construction, machinery, vehicles and parts, food, metals,
chemicals, lumber and wood processing, paper and paperboard,
communications equipment, tourism



Industrial production growth rate:


2.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98


Electricity - production:


58.64 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43


Electricity - consumption:


61.89 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38


Electricity - exports:


14.93 billion kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


19.8 billion kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


24,850 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72


Oil - consumption:


285,400 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46


Oil - exports:


45,580 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79


Oil - imports:


305,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38


Oil - proved reserves:


50 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76


Natural gas - production:


1.532 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60


Natural gas - consumption:


8.65 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50


Natural gas - exports:


2.788 billion cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 32


Natural gas - imports:


10.05 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23


Natural gas - proved reserves:


16.14 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77


Current account balance:


$14.27 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
$12.03 billion (2007 est.)



Exports:


$179.1 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
$162.1 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, paper and
paperboard, metal goods, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles,
foodstuffs



Exports - partners:


Germany 29.5%, Italy 8.6%, US 4.3%, Switzerland 4.2% (2008)



Imports:


$179.2 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
$160.3 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, metal goods, oil
and oil products; foodstuffs



Imports - partners:


Germany 44.5%, Italy 7.1%, Switzerland 5.2%, Netherlands 4.1% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$16.7 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
$18.22 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$832.8 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 13
$801.4 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:


$261.9 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18
$247.9 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:


$270 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
$240.9 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Exchange rates:


euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.6827 (2008 est.), 0.7345 (2007),
0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004)







Communications ::Austria




Telephones - main lines in use:


3.285 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 47


Telephones - mobile cellular:


10.816 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 58


Telephone system:


general assessment: highly developed and efficient

domestic: fixed-line subscribership has been in decline since the
mid-1990s with mobile-cellular subscribership eclipsing it by the
late 1990s; the fiber-optic net is very extensive; all telephone
applications and Internet services are available

international: country code - 43; satellite earth stations - 15; in
addition, there are about 600 VSATs (very small aperture terminals)
(2007)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 2, FM 65 (plus several hundred repeaters), shortwave 1 (2001)



Television broadcast stations:


10 (plus more than 1,000 repeaters) (2001)



Internet country code:


.at



Internet hosts:


2.992 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 26


Internet users:


5.937 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 39






Transportation ::Austria




Airports:


55 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 84


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 25

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 14 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 30

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 26 (2009)



Heliports:


1 (2009)



Pipelines:


gas 2,721 km; oil 663 km; refined products 157 km (2008)



Railways:


total: 6,399 km
country comparison to the world: 29
standard gauge: 5,927 km 1.435-m gauge (3,688 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 384 km 1.000-m gauge (15 km electrified); 88 km
0.760-m gauge (10 km electrified) (2008)



Roadways:


total: 107,262 km
country comparison to the world: 39
paved: 107,262 km (includes 1,677 km of expressways) (2006)



Waterways:


358 km (2007)
country comparison to the world: 90


Merchant marine:


total: 4
country comparison to the world: 134
by type: cargo 2, container 2

foreign-owned: 2 (Netherlands 2)

registered in other countries: 4 (Cyprus 1, Malta 1, Saint Vincent
and the Grenadines 2) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Enns, Krems, Linz, Vienna







Military ::Austria




Military branches:


Land Forces (KdoLdSK), Air Forces (KdoLuSK)



Military service age and obligation:


18-35 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age
for male or female voluntary service; service obligation 6 months of
training, followed by an 8-year reserve obligation (2009)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 1,986,411

females age 16-49: 1,944,834 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 1,607,456

females age 16-49: 1,576,335 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 50,540

female: 48,042 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


0.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140






Transnational Issues ::Austria




Disputes - international:


while threats of international legal action never materialized in
2007, 915,220 Austrians, with the support of the newly elected
Freedom Party, signed a petition in January 2008, demanding that
Austria block the Czech Republic's accession to the EU unless Prague
closed its nuclear power plant in Temelin, bordering Austria



Illicit drugs:


transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and South American
cocaine destined for Western Europe; increasing consumption of
European-produced synthetic drugs









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Azerbaijan  (Middle East)

Introduction ::Azerbaijan




Background:


Azerbaijan - a nation with a majority-Turkic and majority-Muslim
population - was briefly independent from 1918 to 1920; it regained
its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Despite a 1994 cease-fire, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its
conflict with Armenia over the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region
(largely Armenian populated). Azerbaijan has lost 16% of its
territory and must support some 600,000 internally displaced persons
as a result of the conflict. Corruption is ubiquitous, and the
government has been accused of authoritarianism. Although the
poverty rate has been reduced in recent years, the promise of
widespread wealth from development of Azerbaijan's energy sector
remains largely unfulfilled.







Geography ::Azerbaijan




Location:


Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and
Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range



Geographic coordinates:


40 30 N, 47 30 E



Map references:


Middle East



Area:


total: 86,600 sq km
country comparison to the world: 112
land: 82,629 sq km

water: 3,971 sq km

note: includes the exclave of Naxcivan Autonomous Republic and the
Nagorno-Karabakh region; the region's autonomy was abolished by
Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet on 26 November 1991



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than Maine



Land boundaries:


total: 2,013 km

border countries: Armenia (with Azerbaijan-proper) 566 km, Armenia
(with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 221 km, Georgia 322 km, Iran
(with Azerbaijan-proper) 432 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan
exclave) 179 km, Russia 284 km, Turkey 9 km



Coastline:


0 km (landlocked); note - Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (713 km)



Maritime claims:


none (landlocked)



Climate:


dry, semiarid steppe



Terrain:


large, flat Kur-Araz Ovaligi (Kura-Araks Lowland) (much of it below
sea level) with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag
Yaylasi (Karabakh Upland) in west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi
(Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m

highest point: Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 m



Natural resources:


petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, bauxite



Land use:


arable land: 20.62%

permanent crops: 2.61%

other: 76.77% (2005)



Irrigated land:


14,550 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


30.3 cu km (1997)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 17.25 cu km/yr (5%/28%/68%)

per capita: 2,051 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


droughts



Environment - current issues:


local scientists consider the Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula)
(including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the
ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe
air, soil, and water pollution; soil pollution results from oil
spills, from the use of DDT pesticide, and from toxic defoliants
used in the production of cotton



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate
Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship
Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


both the main area of the country and the Naxcivan exclave are
landlocked







People ::Azerbaijan




Population:


8,238,672 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91


Age structure:


0-14 years: 23.9% (male 1,042,132/female 926,495)

15-64 years: 69.4% (male 2,807,717/female 2,908,221)

65 years and over: 6.7% (male 204,410/female 349,697) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 28.2 years

male: 26.6 years

female: 30 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


0.762% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141


Birth rate:


17.62 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115


Death rate:


8.3 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103


Net migration rate:


-1.69 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134


Urbanization:


urban population: 52% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.13 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.12 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.58 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 54.6 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 46
male: 60.2 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 48.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 66.66 years
country comparison to the world: 158
male: 62.53 years

female: 71.34 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


2.04 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


less than 0.2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


7,800 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


fewer than 100 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127


Nationality:


noun: Azerbaijani(s)

adjective: Azerbaijani



Ethnic groups:


Azeri 90.6%, Dagestani 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.9%
(1999 census)

note: almost all Armenians live in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh
region



Religions:


Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other
1.8% (1995 est.)

note: religious affiliation is still nominal in Azerbaijan;
percentages for actual practicing adherents are much lower



Languages:


Azerbaijani (Azeri) 90.3%, Lezgi 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%,
other 3.3%, unspecified 1% (1999 census)



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98.8%

male: 99.5%

female: 98.2% (1999 census)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 11 years

male: 11 years

female: 11 years (2006)



Education expenditures:


2.1% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 165






Government ::Azerbaijan




Country name:


conventional long form: Republic of Azerbaijan

conventional short form: Azerbaijan

local long form: Azarbaycan Respublikasi

local short form: Azarbaycan

former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic



Government type:


republic



Capital:


name: Baku (Baki, Baky)

geographic coordinates: 40 23 N, 49 52 E

time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October



Administrative divisions:


59 rayons (rayonlar; rayon - singular), 11 cities (saharlar; sahar -
singular), 1 autonomous republic (muxtar respublika)

rayons: Abseron Rayonu, Agcabadi Rayonu, Agdam Rayonu, Agdas Rayonu,
Agstafa Rayonu, Agsu Rayonu, Astara Rayonu, Balakan Rayonu, Barda
Rayonu, Beylaqan Rayonu, Bilasuvar Rayonu, Cabrayil Rayonu,
Calilabad Rayonu, Daskasan Rayonu, Davaci Rayonu, Fuzuli Rayonu,
Gadabay Rayonu, Goranboy Rayonu, Goycay Rayonu, Haciqabul Rayonu,
Imisli Rayonu, Ismayilli Rayonu, Kalbacar Rayonu, Kurdamir Rayonu,
Lacin Rayonu, Lankaran Rayonu, Lerik Rayonu, Masalli Rayonu,
Neftcala Rayonu, Oguz Rayonu, Qabala Rayonu, Qax Rayonu, Qazax
Rayonu, Qobustan Rayonu, Quba Rayonu, Qubadli Rayonu, Qusar Rayonu,
Saatli Rayonu, Sabirabad Rayonu, Saki Rayonu, Salyan Rayonu, Samaxi
Rayonu, Samkir Rayonu, Samux Rayonu, Siyazan Rayonu, Susa Rayonu,
Tartar Rayonu, Tovuz Rayonu, Ucar Rayonu, Xacmaz Rayonu, Xanlar
Rayonu, Xizi Rayonu, Xocali Rayonu, Xocavand Rayonu, Yardimli
Rayonu, Yevlax Rayonu, Zangilan Rayonu, Zaqatala Rayonu, Zardab
Rayonu

cities: Ali Bayramli Sahari, Baki Sahari, Ganca Sahari, Lankaran
Sahari, Mingacevir Sahari, Naftalan Sahari, Saki Sahari, Sumqayit
Sahari, Susa Sahari, Xankandi Sahari, Yevlax Sahari

autonomous republic: Naxcivan Muxtar Respublikasi (Nakhichevan)



Independence:


30 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)



National holiday:


Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, 28 May (1918)



Constitution:


adopted 12 November 1995; modified by referendum 24 August 2002



Legal system:


based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: President Ilham ALIYEV (since 31 October 2003)

head of government: Prime Minister Artur RASIZADE (since 4 November
2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub EYYUBOV (since June 2006)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president and
confirmed by the National Assembly

elections: president elected by popular vote to a five-year term
(eligible for a second term); election last held 15 October 2008
(next to be held in October 2013); prime minister and first deputy
prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by the
National Assembly

election results: Ilham ALIYEV reelected president; percent of vote
- Ilham ALIYEV 89%, Igbal AGHAZADE 2.9%, five other candidates with
smaller percentages

note: several political parties boycotted the election due to unfair
conditions; OSCE observers concluded that the election did not meet
international standards



Legislative branch:


unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis (125 seats; members
elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held 6 November 2005 (next to be held in November
2010)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
Yeni 58, Azadliq coalition 8, CSP 2, Motherland 2, other parties
with single seats 9, independents 42, undetermined 4



Judicial branch:


Supreme Court



Political parties and leaders:


Azadliq (Freedom) coalition (Popular Front Party, Liberal Party,
Citizens' Development Party); Azerbaijan Democratic Party or ADP
[Sardar JALALOGLU]; Azerbaijan Democratic Reforms Party (ADRP) Youth
Movement [Ramin HAJILI]; Azerbaijan Popular Front or APF, now split
in two [Ali KARIMLI, leader of "Reform" APF party; Mirmahmud
MIRALI-OGLU, leader of "Classic" APF party]; Azerbaijan Public Forum
[Eldar NAMAZOV]; Citizens' Development Party [Ali ALIYEV]; Civil
Solidarity Party or CSP [Sabir RUSTAMKHANLY]; Dalga Youth Movement
[Vafa JAFAROVA]; Green Party [Mais GULALIYEV and Tarana MAMMADOVA];
Hope (Umid) Party [Iqbal AGAZADE]; Ireli Youth Movement [Jeyhun
OSMANLI, Roya TALIBOVA, Farhad MAMMADOV, Elnara GARIBOVA, Elnur
MAMMADOV, Ziya ALIYEV]; Justice Party [Ilyas ISMAILOV]; Liberal
Party of Azerbaijan [Lala Shovkat HACIYEVA]; Magam Youth Movement
[Emin HUSEYNOV]; Motherland Party [Fazail AGAMALI]; Musavat
(Equality) [Isa GAMBAR, chairman]; Musavat Party Youth Movement
[Elnur MAMMADLI]; National Democratic Party or Grey Wolves
(Nationalist, Pan-Turkic) [Iskender HAMIDOV]; Open Society Party
[Rasul GULIYEV, in exile in the US]; Party for National Independence
of Azerbaijan or PNIA [Ayaz RUSTAMOV]; Popular Front Party Youth
Movement [Seymur KHAZIYEV]; Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan or
SDP [Araz ALIZADE and Ayaz MUTALIBOV (in exile)]; Turkish
Nationalist Party [Vugar BAYTURAN]; United Azerbaijan Party [Karrar
ABILOV]; United Azerbaijan National Unity Party [Hajibaba AZIMOV];
United Party [Tahir KARIMLI]; Yeni (New) Azerbaijan Party [President
Ilham ALIYEV]; Yeni Azerbaijan Party Youth Movement [Ramil HASANOV];
Yox (No) Youth Movement [Ali ISMAYILOV]

note: opposition parties regularly factionalize and form new parties;



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (self-proclaimed); Karabakh
Liberation Organization; Sadval, Lezgin movement; Talysh
independence movement; Union of Pro-Azerbaijani Forces or UPAF



International organization participation:


ADB, BSEC, CE, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD,
ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol,
IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS
(observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD,
UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Yashar ALIYEV

chancery: 2741 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 337-3500

FAX: [1] (202) 337-5911

Consulate(s) general: Los Angeles



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Anne E. DERSE

embassy: 83 Azadlig Prospecti, Baku AZ1007

mailing address: American Embassy Baku, US Department of State, 7050
Baku Place, Washington, DC 20521-7050

telephone: [994] (12) 4980-335 through 337

FAX: [994] (12) 4656-671



Flag description:


three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a
crescent and eight-pointed star in white are centered in red band







Economy ::Azerbaijan




Economy - overview:


Azerbaijan's high economic growth during 2006-08 is attributable to
large and growing oil exports, but the non-energy sector also
featured double-digit growth in 2008, spurred by growth in the
construction, banking, and real estate sectors. However, the current
global economic slowdown presents some challenges for the
Azerbaijani economy as oil prices have plummeted since mid-2008 and
local banks face a more uncertain international financial
environment. Azerbaijan's oil production declined through 1997, but
has registered an increase every year since. Negotiation of
production-sharing arrangements (PSAs) with foreign firms, which
have committed $60 billion to long-term oilfield development, should
generate the funds needed to spur future industrial development. Oil
production under the first of these PSAs, with the Azerbaijan
International Operating Company, began in November 1997. A
consortium of Western oil companies built a $4 billion pipeline from
Baku to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan which will pump 1.2
million barrels a day from a large offshore field when at full
capacity. Azerbaijan shares all the formidable problems of the
former Soviet republics in making the transition from a command to a
market economy, but its considerable energy resources brighten its
medium-term prospects. Baku has only recently begun making progress
on economic reform, and old economic ties and structures are slowly
being replaced. Several other obstacles impede Azerbaijan's economic
progress: the need for stepped up foreign investment in the
non-energy sector, the continuing conflict with Armenia over the
Nagorno-Karabakh region, pervasive corruption, and potential for a
sharp downturn in the construction and real estate sectors. Trade
with Russia and the other former Soviet republics is declining in
importance, while trade is building with Turkey and the nations of
Europe. Long-term prospects will depend on world oil prices, the
location of new oil and gas pipelines in the region, and
Azerbaijan's ability to manage its energy wealth to promote
sustainable growth in non-energy sectors of the economy and spur
employment.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$77.79 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
$70.21 billion (2007 est.)

$56.17 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$46.38 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


10.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
25% (2007 est.)

34.5% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$9,500 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
$8,600 (2007 est.)

$7,000 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 6%

industry: 60.5%

services: 33.5% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


5.782 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 39.3%

industry: 12.1%

services: 48.6% (2005)



Unemployment rate:


0.9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
1% (2007 est.)



Population below poverty line:


24% (2005 est.)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 6.1%

highest 10%: 17.5% (2005)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


36.5 (2001)
country comparison to the world: 81
36 (1995)



Investment (gross fixed):


21.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93


Budget:


revenues: $12.69 billion

expenditures: $15.67 billion (2008 est.)



Public debt:


4.1% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
18.9% of GDP (2004 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


20.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206
16.7% (2007 est.)



Central bank discount rate:


8% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 19
13% (31 December 2007)

note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key policy rate for the
National Bank of Azerbaijan



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


19.76% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 19
19.13% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$6.381 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 49
$4.261 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$4.125 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 76
$2.593 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$8.135 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 75
$5.726 billion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA



Agriculture - products:


cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco;
cattle, pigs, sheep, goats



Industries:


petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products, oilfield equipment;
steel, iron ore; cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles



Industrial production growth rate:


6% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39


Electricity - production:


19.35 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72


Electricity - consumption:


15.68 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71


Electricity - exports:


786 million kWh (2007 est.)



Electricity - imports:


548 million kWh (2007 est.)



Oil - production:


875,200 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24


Oil - consumption:


126,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70


Oil - exports:


528,900 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29


Oil - imports:


2,848 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170


Oil - proved reserves:


7 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19


Natural gas - production:


16.2 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33


Natural gas - consumption:


10.64 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47


Natural gas - exports:


5.564 billion cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 25


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201


Natural gas - proved reserves:


849.5 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27


Current account balance:


$16.45 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
$9.019 billion (2007 est.)



Exports:


$30.59 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
$21.27 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


oil and gas 90%, machinery, cotton, foodstuffs



Exports - partners:


Italy 40.2%, US 12.6%, Israel 7.6%, India 5.1%, France 4.9% (2008)



Imports:


$7.575 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
$6.045 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


machinery and equipment, oil products, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals



Imports - partners:


Russia 18.8%, Turkey 11.3%, Germany 8.4%, Ukraine 7.9%, China 6.7%,
UK 5.4% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$6.519 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
$4.273 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$2.635 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
$2.439 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:


$7.844 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
$7.829 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:


$5.232 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
$4.677 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Exchange rates:


Azerbaijani manats (AZN) per US dollar - 0.8219 (2008 est.), 0.8581
(2007), 0.8934 (2006), 4,727.1 (2005), 4,913.48 (2004)

note: on 1 January 2006 Azerbaijan revalued its currency, with 5,000
old manats equal to 1 new manat







Communications ::Azerbaijan




Telephones - main lines in use:


1.311 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 68


Telephones - mobile cellular:


6.548 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 76


Telephone system:


general assessment: inadequate; requires considerable expansion and
modernization; teledensity of 15 main lines per 100 persons is low;
mobile-cellular penetration has increased rapidly and is currently
about 80 telephones per 100 persons

domestic: fixed-line telephony and a broad range of other telecom
services are controlled by a state-owned telecommunications monopoly
and growth has been stagnant; more competition exists in the
mobile-cellular market with three providers in 2006; satellite
service connects Baku to a modern switch in its exclave of Naxcivan

international: country code - 994; the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE)
fiber-optic link transits Azerbaijan providing international
connectivity to neighboring countries; the old Soviet system of
cable and microwave is still serviceable; satellite earth stations -
2 (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 10, FM 17, shortwave 1 (1998)



Television broadcast stations:


2 (1997)



Internet country code:


.az



Internet hosts:


7,045 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 130


Internet users:


1.485 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 75






Transportation ::Azerbaijan




Airports:


34 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 111


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 27

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 6

1,524 to 2,437 m: 13

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 1 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 7

under 914 m: 7 (2009)



Heliports:


1 (2009)



Pipelines:


condensate 1 km; gas 3,361 km; oil 1,424 km (2008)



Railways:


total: 2,122 km
country comparison to the world: 71
broad gauge: 2,122 km 1.520-m gauge (1,278 km electrified) (2008)



Roadways:


total: 59,141 km
country comparison to the world: 74
paved: 29,210 km

unpaved: 29,931 km (2004)



Merchant marine:


total: 89
country comparison to the world: 52
by type: cargo 26, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 9, petroleum tanker
46, roll on/roll off 3, specialized tanker 3

registered in other countries: 3 (Malta 2, Panama 1) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Baku (Baki)







Military ::Azerbaijan




Military branches:


Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces (2008)



Military service age and obligation:


men between 18 and 35 are liable for military service; 18 years of
age for voluntary military service; length of military service is 18
months and 12 months for university graduates (2006)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 2,278,888

females age 16-49: 2,291,770 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 1,727,464

females age 16-49: 1,944,260 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 90,416

female: 85,344 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


2.6% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59






Transnational Issues ::Azerbaijan




Disputes - international:


Armenia supports ethnic Armenian secessionists in Nagorno-Karabakh
and since the early 1990s has militarily occupied 16% of Azerbaijan;
over 800,000 mostly ethnic Azerbaijanis were driven from the
occupied lands and Armenia; about 230,000 ethnic Armenians were
driven from their homes in Azerbaijan into Armenia and
Nagorno-Karabakh; Azerbaijan seeks transit route through Armenia to
connect to Naxcivan exclave; Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continues to mediate dispute;
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia have ratified Caspian seabed
delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to
insist on an even one-fifth allocation and challenges Azerbaijan's
hydrocarbon exploration in disputed waters; bilateral talks continue
with Turkmenistan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in
the middle of the Caspian; Azerbaijan and Georgia continue to
discuss the alignment of their boundary at certain crossing areas



Refugees and internally displaced persons:


refugees (country of origin): 2,400 (Russia)

IDPs: 580,000-690,000 (conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh)
(2007)



Trafficking in persons:


current situation: Azerbaijan is primarily a source and transit
country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of
commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; women and some
children from Azerbaijan are trafficked to Turkey and the UAE for
the purpose of sexual exploitation; men and boys are trafficked to
Russia for the purpose of forced labor; Azerbaijan serves as a
transit country for victims from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan,
and Moldova trafficked to Turkey and the UAE for sexual exploitation

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Azerbaijan is on the Tier 2 Watch
List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to
combat trafficking in persons, particularly efforts to investigate,
prosecute, and punish traffickers; to address complicity among law
enforcement personnel; and to adequately identify and protect
victims in Azerbaijan; the government has yet to develop a
much-needed mechanism to identify potential trafficking victims and
refer them to safety and care; poor treatment of trafficking victims
in courtrooms continues to be a problem (2008)



Illicit drugs:


limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for
CIS consumption; small government eradication program; transit point
for Southwest Asian opiates bound for Russia and to a lesser extent
the rest of Europe









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Bahamas, The  (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Bahamas, The




Background:


Lucayan Indians inhabited the islands when Christopher COLUMBUS
first set foot in the New World on San Salvador in 1492. British
settlement of the islands began in 1647; the islands became a colony
in 1783. Since attaining independence from the UK in 1973, The
Bahamas have prospered through tourism and international banking and
investment management. Because of its geography, the country is a
major transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly shipments
to the US and Europe, and its territory is used for smuggling
illegal migrants into the US.







Geography ::Bahamas, The




Location:


Caribbean, chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast
of Florida, northeast of Cuba



Geographic coordinates:


24 15 N, 76 00 W



Map references:


Central America and the Caribbean



Area:


total: 13,880 sq km
country comparison to the world: 160
land: 10,010 sq km

water: 3,870 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than Connecticut



Land boundaries:


0 km



Coastline:


3,542 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm



Climate:


tropical marine; moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream



Terrain:


long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hills



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mount Alvernia, on Cat Island 63 m



Natural resources:


salt, aragonite, timber, arable land



Land use:


arable land: 0.58%

permanent crops: 0.29%

other: 99.13% (2005)



Irrigated land:


10 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


NA



Natural hazards:


hurricanes and other tropical storms cause extensive flood and wind
damage



Environment - current issues:


coral reef decay; solid waste disposal



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law
of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


strategic location adjacent to US and Cuba; extensive island chain
of which 30 are inhabited







People ::Bahamas, The




Population:


309,156
country comparison to the world: 176
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the
effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower
life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of
population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July
2009 est.)



Age structure:


0-14 years: 25.9% (male 40,085/female 39,959)

15-64 years: 67.2% (male 102,154/female 105,482)

65 years and over: 6.9% (male 8,772/female 12,704) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 28.7 years

male: 27.9 years

female: 29.5 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


0.536% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152


Birth rate:


16.81 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125


Death rate:


9.32 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77


Net migration rate:


-2.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139


Urbanization:


urban population: 84% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 23.17 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 93
male: 28.21 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 18.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 65.78 years
country comparison to the world: 164
male: 62.63 years

female: 68.98 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


2.1 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


3% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


6,200 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


fewer than 200 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126


Nationality:


noun: Bahamian(s)

adjective: Bahamian



Ethnic groups:


black 85%, white 12%, Asian and Hispanic 3%



Religions:


Baptist 35.4%, Anglican 15.1%, Roman Catholic 13.5%, Pentecostal
8.1%, Church of God 4.8%, Methodist 4.2%, other Christian 15.2%,
none or unspecified 2.9%, other 0.8% (2000 census)



Languages:


English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 95.6%

male: 94.7%

female: 96.5% (2003 est.)



Education expenditures:


3.6% of GDP (2000)
country comparison to the world: 125






Government ::Bahamas, The




Country name:


conventional long form: Commonwealth of The Bahamas

conventional short form: The Bahamas



Government type:


constitutional parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm



Capital:


name: Nassau

geographic coordinates: 25 05 N, 77 21 W

time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard
Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends
first Sunday in November



Administrative divisions:


21 districts; Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bimini, Cat Island,
Exuma, Freeport, Fresh Creek, Governor's Harbour, Green Turtle Cay,
Harbour Island, High Rock, Inagua, Kemps Bay, Long Island, Marsh
Harbour, Mayaguana, New Providence, Nichollstown and Berry Islands,
Ragged Island, Rock Sound, Sandy Point, San Salvador, and Rum Cay



Independence:


10 July 1973 (from the UK)



National holiday:


Independence Day, 10 July (1973)



Constitution:


10 July 1973



Legal system:


based on English common law



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor General Arthur D. HANNA (since 1 February
2006)

head of government: Prime Minister Hubert A. INGRAHAM (since 4 May
2007)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the prime
minister's recommendation

elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by
the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the
majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually
appointed prime minister by the governor general; the prime minister
recommends the deputy prime minister



Legislative branch:


bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (16 seats; members
appointed by the governor general upon the advice of the prime
minister and the opposition leader to serve five-year terms) and the
House of Assembly (41 seats; members elected by direct popular vote
to serve five-year terms); the government may dissolve the
parliament and call elections at any time

elections: last held 2 May 2007 (next to be held by May 2012)

election results: percent of vote by party - FNM 49.86%, PLP 47.02%;
seats by party - FNM 23, PLP 18



Judicial branch:


Privy Council in London; Courts of Appeal; Supreme (lower) Court;
Magistrates' Courts



Political parties and leaders:


Free National Movement or FNM [Hubert INGRAHAM]; Progressive Liberal
Party or PLP [Perry CHRISTIE]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Friends of the Environment

other: trade unions



International organization participation:


ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory),
ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol,
IOC, IOM, ITSO, ITU, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW (signatory),
UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO,
WTO (observer)



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Cornelius A. SMITH

chancery: 2220 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 319-2660

FAX: [1] (202) 319-2668

consulate(s) general: Miami, New York



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Ned L. SIEGEL

embassy: 42 Queen Street, Nassau, New Providence

mailing address: local or express mail address: P. O. Box N-8197,
Nassau; US Department of State, 3370 Nassau Place, Washington, DC
20521-3370

telephone: [1] (242) 322-1181, 328-2206 (after hours)

FAX: [1] (242) 328-2206



Flag description:


three equal horizontal bands of aquamarine (top), gold, and
aquamarine, with a black equilateral triangle based on the hoist
side; the band colors represent the golden beaches of the islands
surrounded by the aquamarine sea; black represents the vigor and
force of a united people, while the pointing triangle indicates the
enterprise and determination of the Bahamian people to develop the
rich resources of land and sea







Economy ::Bahamas, The




Economy - overview:


The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with an
economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Tourism
together with tourism-driven construction and manufacturing accounts
for approximately 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half
of the archipelago's labor force. Steady growth in tourism receipts
and a boom in construction of new hotels, resorts, and residences
had led to solid GDP growth in recent years, but tourist arrivals
have been on the decline since 2006 and will likely drop even
further in 2009. Tourism, in turn, depends on growth in the US, the
source of more than 80% of the visitors. To help offset the effect
of the global economic downturn, particularly on employment, the
INGRAHAM administration plans to engage in infrastructure projects.
Financial services constitute the second-most important sector of
the Bahamian economy and, when combined with business services,
account for about 36% of GDP. However, since December 2000, when the
government enacted new regulations on the financial sector, many
international businesses have left The Bahamas. Manufacturing and
agriculture combined contribute approximately a tenth of GDP and
show little growth, despite government incentives aimed at those
sectors. Overall growth prospects in the short run rest heavily on
the fortunes of the tourism sector.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$9.352 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
$9.495 billion (2007 est.)

$9.236 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$7.564 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


-1.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 210
2.8% (2007 est.)

4.6% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$30,700 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44
$31,400 (2007 est.)

$30,900 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 3%

industry: 7%

services: 90% (2001 est.)



Labor force:


175,500 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 168


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture 5%, industry 5%, tourism 50%, other services 40% (2005
est.)



Unemployment rate:


7.6% (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99


Population below poverty line:


9.3% (2004)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: 27% (2000)



Budget:


revenues: $1.03 billion

expenditures: $1.03 billion (FY04/05)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


2.4% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22


Central bank discount rate:


5.25% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 81
5.25% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


5.5% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 138
5.5% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$1.255 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 82
$1.274 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$4.637 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 71
$4.324 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$7.883 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 77
$7.395 billion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA



Agriculture - products:


citrus, vegetables; poultry



Industries:


tourism, banking, cement, oil transshipment, salt, rum, aragonite,
pharmaceuticals, spiral-welded steel pipe



Industrial production growth rate:


NA%



Electricity - production:


2.045 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134


Electricity - consumption:


1.902 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205


Oil - consumption:


34,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109


Oil - exports:


transshipments of 41,570 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81


Oil - imports:


72,420 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78


Oil - proved reserves:


0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205


Natural gas - production:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205


Natural gas - consumption:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 53


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79


Natural gas - proved reserves:


0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 203


Current account balance:


-$1.442 billion (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130


Exports:


$674 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 159


Exports - commodities:


mineral products and salt, animal products, rum, chemicals, fruit
and vegetables



Exports - partners:


US 21.6%, Singapore 19%, Poland 18.2%, Germany 7.7%, Japan 7.5%
(2008)



Imports:


$2.401 billion (2006)
country comparison to the world: 145


Imports - commodities:


machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, mineral
fuels; food and live animals



Imports - partners:


US 25.1%, South Korea 18.8%, Japan 16.4%, Singapore 7.3%, Venezuela
5% (2008)



Debt - external:


$342.6 million (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171


Exchange rates:


Bahamian dollars (BSD) per US dollar - 1 (2008 est.), 1 (2007), 1
(2006), 1 (2005), 1 (2004)







Communications ::Bahamas, The




Telephones - main lines in use:


133,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 138


Telephones - mobile cellular:


358,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 164


Telephone system:


general assessment: modern facilities

domestic: totally automatic system; highly developed; the Bahamas
Domestic Submarine Network links 14 of the islands and is designed
to satisfy increasing demand for voice and broadband internet
services

international: country code - 1-242; landing point for the Americas
Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) fiber-optic submarine cable
that provides links to South and Central America, parts of the
Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 (2007)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 3, FM 5, shortwave 0 (2006)



Television broadcast stations:


2 (2006)



Internet country code:


.bs



Internet hosts:


8,325 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 122


Internet users:


106,500 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 151






Transportation ::Bahamas, The




Airports:


62 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 79


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 23

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 4

1,524 to 2,437 m: 11

914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 39

1,524 to 2,437 m: 5

914 to 1,523 m: 12

under 914 m: 22 (2009)



Heliports:


1 (2009)



Roadways:


total: 2,717 km
country comparison to the world: 168
paved: 1,560 km

unpaved: 1,157 km (2002)



Merchant marine:


total: 1,223
country comparison to the world: 6
by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 210, cargo 226, carrier 2,
chemical tanker 88, combination ore/oil 12, container 65, liquefied
gas 77, passenger 109, passenger/cargo 35, petroleum tanker 209,
refrigerated cargo 119, roll on/roll off 16, specialized tanker 3,
vehicle carrier 51

foreign-owned: 1,150 (Angola 6, Belgium 15, Bermuda 12, Brazil 2,
Canada 84, China 10, Croatia 1, Cuba 1, Cyprus 25, Denmark 67,
Finland 9, France 30, Germany 44, Greece 209, Hong Kong 30, Iceland
1, Indonesia 2, Ireland 2, Isle of Man 1, Italy 4, Japan 87, Jordan
2, Kenya 1, Malaysia 13, Monaco 15, Montenegro 2, Netherlands 9,
Nigeria 2, Norway 189, Poland 17, Russia 4, Saudi Arabia 16,
Singapore 17, Slovenia 1, South Africa 1, Spain 14, Sweden 4,
Switzerland 1, Thailand 5, Trinidad and Tobago 1, Turkey 8, UAE 23,
UK 56, US 106, Venezuela 1)

registered in other countries: 12 (Bolivia 1, Panama 9, Peru 1,
Portugal 1) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Freeport, Nassau, South Riding Point







Military ::Bahamas, The




Military branches:


Royal Bahamian Defense Force: Land Force, Navy, Air Wing (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


18 years of age (est.); no conscription (2008)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 80,200 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 50,764

females age 16-49: 51,690 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 2,992

female: 3,003 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


0.5% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 160






Transnational Issues ::Bahamas, The




Disputes - international:


disagrees with the US on the alignment the northern axis of a
potential maritime boundary; continues to monitor and interdict drug
dealers and Haitian and Cuban refugees in Bahamian waters



Illicit drugs:


transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for US and
Europe; offshore financial center









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Bahrain  (Middle East)

Introduction ::Bahrain




Background:


In 1783, the al-Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians.
In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of
treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a
British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in
1971. Bahrain's small size and central location among Persian Gulf
countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign
affairs among its larger neighbors. Facing declining oil reserves,
Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has
transformed itself into an international banking center. King HAMAD
bin Isa al-Khalifa, after coming to power in 1999, pushed economic
and political reforms to improve relations with the Shia community.
Shia political societies participated in 2006 parliamentary and
municipal elections. Al Wifaq, the largest Shia political society,
won the largest number of seats in the elected chamber of the
legislature. However, Shia discontent has resurfaced in recent years
with street demonstrations and occasional low-level violence.







Geography ::Bahrain




Location:


Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia



Geographic coordinates:


26 00 N, 50 33 E



Map references:


Middle East



Area:


total: 741 sq km
country comparison to the world: 190
land: 741 sq km

water: 0 sq km



Area - comparative:


3.5 times the size of Washington, DC



Land boundaries:


0 km



Coastline:


161 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

continental shelf: extending to boundaries to be determined



Climate:


arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers



Terrain:


mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m

highest point: Jabal ad Dukhan 122 m



Natural resources:


oil, associated and nonassociated natural gas, fish, pearls



Land use:


arable land: 2.82%

permanent crops: 5.63%

other: 91.55% (2005)



Irrigated land:


40 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


0.1 cu km (1997)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 0.3 cu km/yr (40%/3%/57%)

per capita: 411 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


periodic droughts; dust storms



Environment - current issues:


desertification resulting from the degradation of limited arable
land, periods of drought, and dust storms; coastal degradation
(damage to coastlines, coral reefs, and sea vegetation) resulting
from oil spills and other discharges from large tankers, oil
refineries, and distribution stations; lack of freshwater resources
(groundwater and seawater are the only sources for all water needs)



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone
Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


close to primary Middle Eastern petroleum sources; strategic
location in Persian Gulf, through which much of the Western world's
petroleum must transit to reach open ocean







People ::Bahrain




Population:


727,785
country comparison to the world: 162
note: includes 235,108 non-nationals (July 2009 est.)



Age structure:


0-14 years: 25.9% (male 95,224/female 93,241)

15-64 years: 70.2% (male 292,941/female 217,729)

65 years and over: 3.9% (male 15,106/female 13,544) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 30.1 years

male: 33.2 years

female: 26.7 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


1.285% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105


Birth rate:


17.02 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122


Death rate:


4.37 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202


Net migration rate:


0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73


Urbanization:


urban population: 89% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.8% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.34 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.12 male(s)/female

total population: 1.24 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 15.25 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 125
male: 17.81 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 12.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 75.16 years
country comparison to the world: 83
male: 72.64 years

female: 77.76 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


2.5 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


0.2% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


fewer than 600 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105


Nationality:


noun: Bahraini(s)

adjective: Bahraini



Ethnic groups:


Bahraini 62.4%, non-Bahraini 37.6% (2001 census)



Religions:


Muslim (Shia and Sunni) 81.2%, Christian 9%, other 9.8% (2001 census)



Languages:


Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 86.5%

male: 88.6%

female: 83.6% (2001 census)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 15 years

male: 14 years

female: 16 years (2006)



Education expenditures:


3.9% of GDP (1991)
country comparison to the world: 107






Government ::Bahrain




Country name:


conventional long form: Kingdom of Bahrain

conventional short form: Bahrain

local long form: Mamlakat al Bahrayn

local short form: Al Bahrayn

former: Dilmun



Government type:


constitutional monarchy



Capital:


name: Manama

geographic coordinates: 26 14 N, 50 34 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)



Administrative divisions:


5 governorates; Asamah, Janubiyah, Muharraq, Shamaliyah, Wasat

note: each governorate administered by an appointed governor



Independence:


15 August 1971 (from the UK)



National holiday:


National Day, 16 December (1971); note - 15 August 1971 was the date
of independence from the UK, 16 December 1971 was the date of
independence from British protection



Constitution:


adopted 14 February 2002



Legal system:


based on Islamic law and English common law; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction



Suffrage:


20 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: King HAMAD bin Isa Al-Khalifa (since 6 March 1999);
Heir Apparent Crown Prince SALMAN bin Hamad (son of the monarch,
born 21 October 1969)

head of government: Prime Minister KHALIFA bin Salman Al-Khalifa
(since 1971); Deputy Prime Ministers ALI bin Khalifa bin Salman
Al-Khalifa, MUHAMMAD bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa, Jawad al-ARAIDH

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch

elections: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by
the monarch



Legislative branch:


bicameral legislature consists of the Consultative Council (40
members appointed by the King) and the Council of Representatives or
Chamber of Deputies (40 seats; members directly elected to serve
four-year terms)

elections: Council of Representatives - last held November-December
2006 (next election to be held in 2010)

election results: Council of Representatives - percent of vote by
society - NA; seats by society - al Wifaq (Shia) 17, al Asala (Sunni
Salafi) 5, al Minbar (Sunni Muslim Brotherhood) 7, independents 11;
note - seats by society as of February 2007 - al Wifaq 17, al Asala
8, al Minbar 7, al Mustaqbal (Moderate Sunni pro-government) 4,
unassociated independents (all Sunni) 3, independent affiliated with
al Wifaq (Sunni oppositionist) 1



Judicial branch:


High Civil Appeals Court



Political parties and leaders:


political parties prohibited but political societies were legalized
per a July 2005 law



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Shia activists; Sunni Islamist legislators

other: several small leftist and other groups are active



International organization participation:


ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, FAO, G-77, GCC, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt
(signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO,
Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA,
NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU,
WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Houda Ibrahim Ezra NUNU

chancery: 3502 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 342-1111

FAX: [1] (202) 362-2192

consulate(s) general: New York



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador J. Adam ERELI

embassy: Building #979, Road 3119 (next to Al-Ahli Sports Club),
Block 331, Zinj District, Manama

mailing address: PSC 451, Box 660, FPO AE 09834-5100; international
mail: American Embassy, Box 26431, Manama

telephone: [973] 1724-2700

FAX: [973] 1727-0547



Flag description:


red, the traditional color for flags of Persian Gulf states, with a
white serrated band (five white points) on the hoist side; the five
points represent the five pillars of Islam







Economy ::Bahrain




Economy - overview:


With its highly developed communication and transport facilities,
Bahrain is home to numerous multinational firms with business in the
Gulf. Petroleum production and refining account for over 60% of
Bahrain's export receipts, over 70% of government revenues, and 11%
of GDP (exclusive of allied industries), underpinning Bahrain's
strong economic growth in recent years. Aluminum is Bahrain's second
major export after oil. Other major segments of Bahrain's economy
are the financial and construction sectors. Bahrain is focused on
Islamic banking and is competing on an international scale with
Malaysia as a worldwide banking center. Bahrain is actively pursuing
the diversification and privatization of its economy to reduce the
country's dependence on oil. As part of this effort, in August 2006
Bahrain and the US implemented a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the
first FTA between the US and a Gulf state. Continued strong growth
hinges on Bahrain's ability to acquire new natural gas supplies as
feedstock to support its expanding petrochemical and aluminum
industries. Unemployment, especially among the young, and the
depletion of oil and underground water resources are long-term
economic problems. The global financial crisis is likely to result
in slower economic growth for Bahrain during 2009 as tight
international credit and a slowing global economy cause funding for
many non-oil projects to dry up. Lower oil prices may also cause
Bahrain's budget to slip back into deficit.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$26.89 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
$25.29 billion (2007 est.)

$23.34 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$21.24 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


6.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
8.4% (2007 est.)

6.7% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$37,400 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
$35,700 (2007 est.)

$33,400 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 0.4%

industry: 66.2%

services: 33.3% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


557,000
country comparison to the world: 152
note: 44% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national
(2008 est.)



Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 1%

industry: 79%

services: 20% (1997 est.)



Unemployment rate:


15% (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153


Population below poverty line:


NA%



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%



Investment (gross fixed):


26.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39


Budget:


revenues: $6.934 billion

expenditures: $5.612 billion (2008 est.)



Public debt:


28.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
63.8% of GDP (2004 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


7% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
3.3% (2007 est.)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 101
8.35% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$4.169 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$10.63 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$10.32 billion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$21.18 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 65
$28.13 billion (31 December 2007)

$21.12 billion (31 December 2006)



Agriculture - products:


fruit, vegetables; poultry, dairy products; shrimp, fish



Industries:


petroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting, iron
pelletization, fertilizers, Islamic and offshore banking, insurance,
ship repairing, tourism



Industrial production growth rate:


6.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35


Electricity - production:


10.25 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90


Electricity - consumption:


10.1 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


48,520 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63


Oil - consumption:


38,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104


Oil - exports:


238,300 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48


Oil - imports:


228,400 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43


Oil - proved reserves:


124.6 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63


Natural gas - production:


12.64 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38


Natural gas - consumption:


12.64 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 45


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70


Natural gas - proved reserves:


92.03 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55


Current account balance:


$2.257 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
$2.907 billion (2007 est.)



Exports:


$17.49 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
$13.79 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


petroleum and petroleum products, aluminum, textiles



Exports - partners:


Saudi Arabia 3.4%, India 2.7%, UAE 2.2% (2008)



Imports:


$14.25 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85
$10.93 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


crude oil, machinery, chemicals



Imports - partners:


Saudi Arabia 26.7%, Japan 8.9%, US 7.8%, China 6.2%, Germany 4.8%,
South Korea 4.7%, UK 4.5% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$3.803 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
$4.101 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$10.33 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
$7.858 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:


$15.01 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
$13.31 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:


$9.34 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
$7.72 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Exchange rates:


Bahraini dinars (BHD) per US dollar - 0.376 (2008 est.), 0.376
(2007), 0.376 (2006), 0.376 (2005), 0.376 (2004)







Communications ::Bahrain




Telephones - main lines in use:


220,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 123


Telephones - mobile cellular:


1.4 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 135


Telephone system:


general assessment: modern system

domestic: modern fiber-optic integrated services; digital network
with rapidly growing use of mobile-cellular telephones

international: country code - 973; landing point for the Fiber-Optic
Link Around the Globe (FLAG) submarine cable network that provides
links to Asia, Middle East, Europe, and US; tropospheric scatter to
Qatar and UAE; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; satellite
earth station - 1 (2007)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0 (1998)



Television broadcast stations:


4 (1997)



Internet country code:


.bh



Internet hosts:


51,489 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 82


Internet users:


402,900 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 112






Transportation ::Bahrain




Airports:


3 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 191


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 3

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2009)



Heliports:


1 (2009)



Pipelines:


gas 20 km; oil 32 km (2008)



Roadways:


total: 3,498 km
country comparison to the world: 161
paved: 2,768 km

unpaved: 730 km (2003)



Merchant marine:


total: 9
country comparison to the world: 114
by type: bulk carrier 4, container 4, petroleum tanker 1

foreign-owned: 6 (Kuwait 5, UAE 1) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Mina' Salman, Sitrah







Military ::Bahrain




Military branches:


Bahrain Defense Forces (BDF): Ground Force (includes Air Defense),
Naval Force, Air Force, National Guard



Military service age and obligation:


17 years of age for voluntary military service; 15 years of age for
NCOs, technicians, and cadets; no conscription (2008)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 210,938

females age 16-49: 170,471 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 171,004

females age 16-49: 144,555 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 6,612

female: 6,499 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


4.5% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 22






Transnational Issues ::Bahrain




Disputes - international:


none



Trafficking in persons:


current situation: Bahrain is a destination country for men and
women trafficked for the purposes of involuntary servitude and
commercial sexual exploitation; men and women from Africa, South
Asia, and Southeast Asia migrate voluntarily to Bahrain to work as
laborers or domestic servants where some face conditions of
involuntary servitude such as unlawful withholding of passports,
restrictions on movements, non-payment of wages, threats, and
physical or sexual abuse; women from Thailand, Morocco, Eastern
Europe, and Central Asia are trafficked to Bahrain for the purpose
of commercial sexual exploitation

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Bahrain is on the Tier 2 Watch List
for failing to show evidence of increased efforts to combat human
trafficking, particularly efforts that enforce laws against
trafficking in persons, and that prevent the punishment of victims
of trafficking; during 2007, Bahrain passed a comprehensive law
prohibiting all forms of trafficking in persons; the government also
established a specialized anti-trafficking unit within the Ministry
of Interior to investigate trafficking crimes; however, the
government did not report any prosecutions or convictions for
trafficking offenses during 2007, despite reports of a substantial
problem of involuntary servitude and sex trafficking (2008)









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Bangladesh  (South Asia)

Introduction ::Bangladesh




Background:


Europeans began to set up trading posts in the area of Bangladesh in
the 16th century; eventually the British came to dominate the region
and it became part of British India. In 1947, West Pakistan and East
Bengal (both primarily Muslim) separated from India (largely Hindu)
and jointly became the new country of Pakistan. East Bengal became
East Pakistan in 1955, but the awkward arrangement of a two-part
country with its territorial units separated by 1,600 km left the
Bengalis marginalized and dissatisfied. East Pakistan seceded from
its union with West Pakistan in 1971 and was renamed Bangladesh. A
military-backed, emergency caretaker regime suspended parliamentary
elections planned for January 2007 in an effort to reform the
political system and root out corruption. In contrast to the strikes
and violent street rallies that had marked Bangladeshi politics in
previous years, the parliamentary elections finally held in late
December 2008 were mostly peaceful. Sheikh HASINA Wajed was
reappointed prime minister. About a third of this extremely poor
country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, hampering
economic development.







Geography ::Bangladesh




Location:


Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India



Geographic coordinates:


24 00 N, 90 00 E



Map references:


Asia



Area:


total: 143,998 sq km
country comparison to the world: 94
land: 130,168 sq km

water: 13,830 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than Iowa



Land boundaries:


total: 4,246 km

border countries: Burma 193 km, India 4,053 km



Coastline:


580 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 18 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: up to the outer limits of the continental margin



Climate:


tropical; mild winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March
to June); humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October)



Terrain:


mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: Keokradong 1,230 m



Natural resources:


natural gas, arable land, timber, coal



Land use:


arable land: 55.39%

permanent crops: 3.08%

other: 41.53% (2005)



Irrigated land:


47,250 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


1,210.6 cu km (1999)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 79.4 cu km/yr (3%/1%/96%)

per capita: 560 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


droughts; cyclones; much of the country routinely inundated during
the summer monsoon season



Environment - current issues:


many people are landless and forced to live on and cultivate
flood-prone land; waterborne diseases prevalent in surface water;
water pollution, especially of fishing areas, results from the use
of commercial pesticides; ground water contaminated by naturally
occurring arsenic; intermittent water shortages because of falling
water tables in the northern and central parts of the country; soil
degradation and erosion; deforestation; severe overpopulation



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


most of the country is situated on deltas of large rivers flowing
from the Himalayas: the Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel
of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty
into the Bay of Bengal







People ::Bangladesh




Population:


156,050,883 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7


Age structure:


0-14 years: 34.6% (male 27,065,625/female 26,913,961)

15-64 years: 61.4% (male 45,222,182/female 50,537,052)

65 years and over: 4% (male 3,057,255/female 3,254,808) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 23.3 years

male: 22.9 years

female: 23.5 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


1.292% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104


Birth rate:


24.68 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71


Death rate:


9.23 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81


Net migration rate:


-2.53 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144


Urbanization:


urban population: 27% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 3.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female

total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 59.02 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 39
male: 66.12 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 51.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 60.25 years
country comparison to the world: 183
male: 57.57 years

female: 63.03 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


2.74 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


12,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


fewer than 500 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82


Major infectious diseases:


degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria are high risks in
some locations

water contact disease: leptospirosis

animal contact disease: rabies

note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in
this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases
possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)



Nationality:


noun: Bangladeshi(s)

adjective: Bangladeshi



Ethnic groups:


Bengali 98%, other 2% (includes tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims)
(1998)



Religions:


Muslim 83%, Hindu 16%, other 1% (1998)



Languages:


Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 47.9%

male: 54%

female: 41.4% (2001 Census)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 8 years

male: 8 years

female: 8 years (2004)



Education expenditures:


2.7% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 151






Government ::Bangladesh




Country name:


conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh

conventional short form: Bangladesh

local long form: Gana Prajatantri Banladesh

local short form: Banladesh

former: East Bengal, East Pakistan



Government type:


parliamentary democracy



Capital:


name: Dhaka

geographic coordinates: 23 43 N, 90 24 E

time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)



Administrative divisions:


6 divisions; Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet



Independence:


16 December 1971 (from West Pakistan); note - 26 March 1971 is the
date of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is known
as Victory Day and commemorates the official creation of the state
of Bangladesh



National holiday:


Independence Day, 26 March (1971); note - 26 March 1971 is the date
of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is Victory Day
and commemorates the official creation of the state of Bangladesh



Constitution:


4 November 1972; effective 16 December 1972; suspended following
coup of 24 March 1982; restored 10 November 1986; amended many times



Legal system:


based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: President Zillur RAHMAN (since 12 February 2009)

head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh HASINA Wajed (since 6
January 2009)

cabinet: Cabinet selected by the prime minister and appointed by the
president

elections: president elected by National Parliament for a five-year
term (eligible for a second term); last election held on 11 February
2009 (next scheduled election to be held in 2014)

election results: Zillur RAHMAN declared president-elect by the
Election Commission on 11 February 2009 (sworn in on 12 February);
he ran unopposed as president; percent of National Parliament vote -
NA



Legislative branch:


unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad; 300 seats elected
by popular vote from single territorial constituencies; members
serve five-year terms

elections: last held 29 December 2008 (next to be held in 2013)

election results: percent of vote by party - AL 49%, BNP 33.2%, JP
7%, JIB 4.6%, other 6.2%; seats by party - AL 230, BNP 30, JP 27,
JIB 2, other 11



Judicial branch:


Supreme Court (the chief justices and other judges are appointed by
the president)



Political parties and leaders:


Awami League or AL [Sheikh HASINA]; Bangladesh Communist Party or
BCP [Manjurul A. KHAN]; Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP [Khaleda
ZIA]; Islami Oikya Jote or IOJ [Mufti Fazlul Haq AMINI];
Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh or JIB [Matiur Rahman NIZAMI]; Jatiya
Party or JP (Ershad faction) [Hussain Mohammad ERSHAD]; Jatiya Party
(Manzur faction) [Naziur Rahman MANZUR]; Liberal Democratic Party or
LDP [Badrudozza CHOWDHURY and Oli AHMED]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Advocacy to End Gender-based Violence through the MoWCA (Ministry of
Women's and Children's Affairs)

other: environmentalists; Islamist groups; religious leaders;
teachers; union leaders



International organization participation:


ADB, ARF, BIMSTEC, C, CP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt
(signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO,
IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURCAT,
MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD,
UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNWTO,
UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)

chancery: 3510 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 244-0183

FAX: [1] (202) 244-7830/2771

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador James F. MORIARTY

embassy: Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka 1212

mailing address: G. P. O. Box 323, Dhaka 1000

telephone: [880] (2) 885-5500

FAX: [880] (2) 882-3744



Flag description:


green field with a large red disk shifted slightly to the hoist side
of center; the red disk represents the rising sun and the sacrifice
to achieve independence; the green field symbolizes the lush
vegetation of Bangladesh







Economy ::Bangladesh




Economy - overview:


The economy has grown 5-6% per year since 1996 despite inefficient
state-owned enterprises, delays in exploiting natural gas resources,
insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic
reforms. Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and
inefficiently-governed nation. Although more than half of GDP is
generated through the service sector, nearly two-thirds of
Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as
the single-most-important product. Garment exports and remittances
from Bangladeshis working overseas, mainly in the Middle East and
East Asia, fuel economic growth. In 2008 Bangladesh pursued a
monetary policy aimed at maintaining high employment, but created
higher inflation in the process.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$226.4 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
$214 billion (2007 est.)

$201.5 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$84.2 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


5.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
6.2% (2007 est.)

6.4% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$1,500 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
$1,400 (2007 est.)

$1,300 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 19.1%

industry: 28.6%

services: 52.3% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


70.86 million
country comparison to the world: 8
note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman,
Qatar, and Malaysia; workers' remittances estimated at $4.8 billion
in 2005-06. (2008 est.)



Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 63%

industry: 11%

services: 26% (FY95/96)



Unemployment rate:


2.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
2.5% (2007 est.)



Population below poverty line:


45% (2004 est.)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 4.3%

highest 10%: 26.6% (2005)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


33.2 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 94
33.6 (1996)



Investment (gross fixed):


24.3% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55


Budget:


revenues: $8.825 billion

expenditures: $12.54 billion (2008 est.)



Public debt:


39.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
43% of GDP (2004 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


8.9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
9.1% (2007 est.)



Central bank discount rate:


5% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 99
5% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


16.38% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 37
16% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$9.294 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 46
$8.444 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$37.98 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 30
$32.35 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$47.03 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 50
$40.1 billion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$6.671 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 78
$6.793 billion (31 December 2007)

$3.61 billion (31 December 2006)



Agriculture - products:


rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, pulses,
oilseeds, spices, fruit; beef, milk, poultry



Industries:


cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint,
cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, sugar



Industrial production growth rate:


6.9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31


Electricity - production:


22.99 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68


Electricity - consumption:


21.38 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


6,426 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92


Oil - consumption:


95,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76


Oil - exports:


2,612 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110


Oil - imports:


87,660 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69


Oil - proved reserves:


28 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81


Natural gas - production:


17.9 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31


Natural gas - consumption:


17.9 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 52


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78


Natural gas - proved reserves:


141.6 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48


Current account balance:


$1.032 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
$856.8 million (2007 est.)



Exports:


$15.44 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
$12.47 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood



Exports - partners:


US 21%, Germany 13.2%, UK 8.6%, France 6.3%, Netherlands 4.7% (2008)



Imports:


$21.51 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
$16.67 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles,
foodstuffs, petroleum products, cement



Imports - partners:


China 14.7%, India 14.7%, Kuwait 7.5%, Singapore 7.1%, Japan 4.1%
(2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$5.789 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
$5.278 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$22.83 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
$21.23 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:


$5.971 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
$5.261 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:


$97 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79


Exchange rates:


taka (BDT) per US dollar - 68.554 (2008 est.), 69.893 (2007), 69.031
(2006), 64.328 (2005), 59.513 (2004)







Communications ::Bangladesh




Telephones - main lines in use:


1.39 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 67


Telephones - mobile cellular:


45.75 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 22


Telephone system:


general assessment: inadequate for a modern country; fixed-line
telephone density remains less than 1 per 100 persons;
mobile-cellular telephone subscribership has been increasing rapidly
and has reached 30 per 100 persons

domestic: modernizing; introducing digital systems; trunk systems
include VHF and UHF microwave radio relay links, and some
fiber-optic cable in cities

international: country code - 880; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4
fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe,
the Middle East, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 6;
international radiotelephone communications and landline service to
neighboring countries (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 15, FM 13, shortwave 2 (2006)



Television broadcast stations:


15 (1999)



Internet country code:


.bd



Internet hosts:


4,209 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 135


Internet users:


556,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 104






Transportation ::Bangladesh




Airports:


17 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 139


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 15

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 4 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2009)



Pipelines:


gas 2,597 km (2008)



Railways:


total: 2,768 km
country comparison to the world: 60
broad gauge: 946 km 1.676-m gauge

narrow gauge: 1,822 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)



Roadways:


total: 239,226 km
country comparison to the world: 21
paved: 22,726 km

unpaved: 216,500 km (2003)



Waterways:


8,370 km
country comparison to the world: 17
note: includes up to 3,060 km main cargo routes; network reduced to
5,200 km in dry season (2007)



Merchant marine:


total: 40
country comparison to the world: 77
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 27, container 5, passenger/cargo 1,
petroleum tanker 4

foreign-owned: 1 (China 1)

registered in other countries: 10 (Comoros 2, Honduras 1, Malta 2,
Panama 2, Singapore 2, Togo 1) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Chittagong, Mongla Port



Transportation - note:


the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of
Bangladesh as high risk for armed robbery against ships; numerous
commercial vessels have been attacked both at anchor and while
underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen







Military ::Bangladesh




Military branches:


Bangladesh Defense Force: Bangladesh Army (Sena Bahini), Bangladesh
Navy (Noh Bahini, BN), Bangladesh Air Force (Biman Bahini, BAF)
(2009)



Military service age and obligation:


16 years of age for voluntary military service; 17 years of age for
officers (both with parental consent); conscription legally possible
in emergency, but has never been implemented (2008)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 41,199,340 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 24,946,041

females age 16-49: 31,409,069 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 1,538,865

female: 1,666,670 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


1.5% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 105






Transnational Issues ::Bangladesh




Disputes - international:


discussions with India remain stalled to delimit a small section of
river boundary, exchange territory for 51 small Bangladeshi exclaves
in India and 111 small Indian exclaves in Bangladesh, allocate
divided villages, and stop illegal cross-border trade, migration,
violence, and transit of terrorists through the porous border;
Bangladesh protests India's fencing and walling off high-traffic
sections of the porous boundary; a joint Bangladesh-India boundary
commission resurveyed and reconstructed 92 missing pillars in 2007;
dispute with India over New Moore/South Talpatty/Purbasha Island in
the Bay of Bengal deters maritime boundary delimitation; after 21
years, Bangladesh resumes talks with Burma on delimiting a maritime
boundary



Refugees and internally displaced persons:


refugees (country of origin): 26,268 (Burma)

IDPs: 65,000 (land conflicts, religious persecution) (2007)



Illicit drugs:


transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring countries









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Barbados  (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Barbados




Background:


The island was uninhabited when first settled by the British in
1627. Slaves worked the sugar plantations established on the island
until 1834 when slavery was abolished. The economy remained heavily
dependent on sugar, rum, and molasses production through most of the
20th century. The gradual introduction of social and political
reforms in the 1940s and 1950s led to complete independence from the
UK in 1966. In the 1990s, tourism and manufacturing surpassed the
sugar industry in economic importance.







Geography ::Barbados




Location:


Caribbean, island in the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela



Geographic coordinates:


13 10 N, 59 32 W



Map references:


Central America and the Caribbean



Area:


total: 430 sq km
country comparison to the world: 200
land: 430 sq km

water: 0 sq km



Area - comparative:


2.5 times the size of Washington, DC



Land boundaries:


0 km



Coastline:


97 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm



Climate:


tropical; rainy season (June to October)



Terrain:


relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mount Hillaby 336 m



Natural resources:


petroleum, fish, natural gas



Land use:


arable land: 37.21%

permanent crops: 2.33%

other: 60.46% (2005)



Irrigated land:


50 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


0.1 cu km (2003)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 0.09 cu km/yr (33%/44%/22%)

per capita: 333 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


infrequent hurricanes; periodic landslides



Environment - current issues:


pollution of coastal waters from waste disposal by ships; soil
erosion; illegal solid waste disposal threatens contamination of
aquifers



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law
of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


easternmost Caribbean island







People ::Barbados




Population:


284,589 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180


Age structure:


0-14 years: 19.2% (male 27,383/female 27,352)

15-64 years: 71.3% (male 99,829/female 103,049)

65 years and over: 9.5% (male 10,464/female 16,512) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 35.8 years

male: 34.7 years

female: 36.9 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


0.383% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168


Birth rate:


12.55 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163


Death rate:


8.41 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98


Net migration rate:


-0.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101


Urbanization:


urban population: 40% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.01 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.63 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 12.29 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 143
male: 13.89 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.67 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 73.94 years
country comparison to the world: 95
male: 71.65 years

female: 76.26 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.68 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


1.2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


2,200 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


fewer than 100 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152


Nationality:


noun: Barbadian(s) or Bajan (colloquial)

adjective: Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial)



Ethnic groups:


black 90%, white 4%, Asian and mixed 6%



Religions:


Protestant 63.4% (Anglican 28.3%, Pentecostal 18.7%, Methodist 5.1%,
other 11.3%), Roman Catholic 4.2%, other Christian 7%, other 4.8%,
none or unspecified 20.6% (2008 est.)



Languages:


English



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school

total population: 99.7%

male: 99.7%

female: 99.7% (2002 est.)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 14 years (2001)



Education expenditures:


6.9% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 24






Government ::Barbados




Country name:


conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Barbados



Government type:


parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm



Capital:


name: Bridgetown

geographic coordinates: 13 06 N, 59 37 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)



Administrative divisions:


11 parishes and 1 city*; Bridgetown*, Christ Church, Saint Andrew,
Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy,
Saint Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Philip, Saint Thomas



Independence:


30 November 1966 (from the UK)



National holiday:


Independence Day, 30 November (1966)



Constitution:


30 November 1966



Legal system:


English common law; no judicial review of legislative acts; accepts
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor General Sir Clifford Straughn HUSBANDS
(since 1 June 1996)

head of government: Prime Minister David THOMPSON (since 16 January
2008)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of
the prime minister

elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by
the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the
majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually
appointed prime minister by the governor general; the prime minister
recommends the deputy prime minister



Legislative branch:


bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (21 seats; members
appointed by the governor general - 12 on the advice of the Prime
Minister, 2 on the advice of the opposition leader, and 7 at his
discretion) and the House of Assembly (30 seats; members are elected
by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: House of Assembly - last held 15 January 2008 (next to be
called in 2013)

election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - DLP
52.5%, BLP 47.3%; seats by party - DLP 20, BLP 10



Judicial branch:


Supreme Court of Judicature consists of a High Court and a Court of
Appeal (judges are appointed by the Service Commissions for the
Judicial and Legal Services); Caribbean Court of Justice or CCJ is
the highest court of appeal; based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and
Tobago



Political parties and leaders:


Barbados Labor Party or BLP [Mia MOTTLEY]; Democratic Labor Party or
DLP [David THOMPSON]; People's Empowerment Party or PEP [David
COMISSIONG]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Barbados Secondary Teachers' Union or BSTU [Patrick FROST]; Barbados
Union of Teachers or BUT [Herbert GITTENS]; Congress of Trade Unions
and Staff Associations of Barbados or CTUSAB, (includes the BWU,
NUPW, BUT, and BSTU) [Leroy TROTMAN]; Barbados Workers Union or BWU
[Leroy TROTMAN]; Clement Payne Labor Union [David COMISSIONG];
National Union of Public Workers [Joseph GODDARD]



International organization participation:


ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITSO, ITU,
ITUC, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO,
UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador John BEALE

chancery: 2144 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 939-9200

FAX: [1] (202) 332-7467

consulate(s) general: Miami, New York

consulate(s): Los Angeles



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Mary M. OURISMAN

embassy: U.S. Embassy, Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael BB
14006

mailing address: P. O. Box 302, Bridgetown BB 11000; CMR 1014, APO
AA 34055

telephone: [1] (246) 227-4399

FAX: [1] (246) 431-0179



Flag description:


three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold, and blue with
the head of a black trident centered on the gold band; the band
colors represent the blue of the sea and sky and the gold of the
beaches; the trident head represents independence and a break with
the past (the colonial coat of arms contained a complete trident)







Economy ::Barbados




Economy - overview:


Historically, the Barbadian economy was dependent on sugarcane
cultivation and related activities. However, in recent years the
economy has diversified into light industry and tourism with about
three-quarters of GDP and 80% of exports being attributed to
services. Growth has rebounded since 2003, bolstered by increases in
construction projects and tourism revenues, reflecting its success
in the higher-end segment, but the sector will likely face declining
revenues with the global economic downturn. The country enjoys one
of the highest per capita incomes in the region. Offshore finance
and information services are important foreign exchange earners and
thrive from having the same time zone as eastern US financial
centers and a relatively highly educated workforce. The government
continues its efforts to reduce unemployment, to encourage direct
foreign investment, and to privatize remaining state-owned
enterprises. The public debt-to-GDP ratio of about 80% will likely
widen as the THOMPSON administration engages in a more expansionary
fiscal policy.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$5.367 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
$5.329 billion (2007 est.)

$5.159 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$3.67 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


0.7% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187
3.3% (2007 est.)

3.9% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$18,900 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
$18,900 (2007 est.)

$18,300 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 6%

industry: 16%

services: 78% (2000 est.)



Labor force:


175,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 10%

industry: 15%

services: 75% (1996 est.)



Unemployment rate:


10.7% (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126


Population below poverty line:


NA%



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%



Budget:


revenues: $847 million (including grants)

expenditures: $886 million (2000 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


5.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93


Central bank discount rate:


10% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 24
12% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


10.03% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 77
10.8% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$1.637 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 75
$1.478 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$3.701 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 77
$2.717 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$4.554 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 82
$3.533 billion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 85
$5.599 billion (31 December 2007)

$4.954 billion (31 December 2006)



Agriculture - products:


sugarcane, vegetables, cotton



Industries:


tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export



Industrial production growth rate:


-3.2% (2000 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162


Electricity - production:


1.003 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146


Electricity - consumption:


939.9 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


1,100 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104


Oil - consumption:


9,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149


Oil - exports:


1,750 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117


Oil - imports:


10,390 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139


Oil - proved reserves:


2.17 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94


Natural gas - production:


29.17 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87


Natural gas - consumption:


29.17 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 201


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200


Natural gas - proved reserves:


141.6 million cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101


Current account balance:


-$254 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94


Exports:


$385 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 168


Exports - commodities:


manufactures, sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and beverages,
chemicals, electrical components



Exports - partners:


Trinidad and Tobago 15.6%, Jamaica 13.9%, Brazil 9.9%, US 8.7%, UK
7.8%, Saint Lucia 7.3%, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 4.5% (2008)



Imports:


$1.586 billion (2006)
country comparison to the world: 158


Imports - commodities:


consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials,
chemicals, fuel, electrical components



Imports - partners:


US 27.1%, Trinidad and Tobago 25.6%, Russia 7.1%, Colombia 6.4%,
Germany 4.1% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$620 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 135
$620 million (2007)



Debt - external:


$668 million (2003)
country comparison to the world: 159


Exchange rates:


Barbadian dollars (BBD) per US dollar - NA (2007), 2 (2006), 2
(2005), 2 (2004), 2 (2003)







Communications ::Barbados




Telephones - main lines in use:


150,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 132


Telephones - mobile cellular:


406,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 160


Telephone system:


general assessment: fixed-line teledensity of roughly 50 per 100
persons; mobile-cellular telephone density approaching 150 per 100
persons

domestic: island-wide automatic telephone system

international: country code - 1-246; landing point for the East
Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable with links to 13 other
islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin
Islands to Trinidad; satellite earth stations - 1 (Intelsat
-Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Trinidad and Saint Lucia
(2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 2, FM 6, shortwave 0 (2004)



Television broadcast stations:


1 (plus 2 cable channels) (2004)



Internet country code:


.bb



Internet hosts:


235 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 185


Internet users:


188,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 139






Transportation ::Barbados




Airports:


1 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 212


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 1

over 3,047 m: 1 (2009)



Roadways:


total: 1,600 km
country comparison to the world: 176
paved: 1,600 km (2004)



Merchant marine:


total: 85
country comparison to the world: 53
by type: bulk carrier 15, cargo 50, chemical tanker 7, passenger 1,
passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 6, roll
on/roll off 2

foreign-owned: 80 (Canada 9, Greece 12, India 1, Iran 2, Lebanon 1,
Norway 38, Sweden 7, Syria 1, UK 9)

registered in other countries: 1 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
1) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Bridgetown







Military ::Barbados




Military branches:


Royal Barbados Defense Force: Troops Command, Barbados Coast Guard
(2009)



Military service age and obligation:


18 years of age for voluntary military service (younger requires
parental consent); no conscription (2008)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 75,265

females age 16-49: 75,389 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 58,596

females age 16-49: 58,866 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 2,015

female: 2,007 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


0.5% of GDP (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159


Military - note:


the Royal Barbados Defense Force includes a land-based Troop Command
and a small Coast Guard; the primary role of the land element is to
defend the island against external aggression; the Command consists
of a single, part-time battalion with a small regular cadre that is
deployed throughout the island; it increasingly supports the police
in patrolling the coastline to prevent smuggling and other illicit
activities (2007)







Transnational Issues ::Barbados




Disputes - international:


Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago abide by the April 2006 Permanent
Court of Arbitration decision delimiting a maritime boundary and
limiting catches of flying fish in Trinidad and Tobago's exclusive
economic zone; joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's
claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under
the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which permits
Venezuela to extend its EEZ/continental shelf over a large portion
of the eastern Caribbean Sea



Illicit drugs:


one of many Caribbean transshipment points for narcotics bound for
Europe and the US; offshore financial center









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Belarus  (Europe)

Introduction ::Belarus




Background:


After seven decades as a constituent republic of the USSR, Belarus
attained its independence in 1991. It has retained closer political
and economic ties to Russia than any of the other former Soviet
republics. Belarus and Russia signed a treaty on a two-state union
on 8 December 1999 envisioning greater political and economic
integration. Although Belarus agreed to a framework to carry out the
accord, serious implementation has yet to take place. Since his
election in July 1994 as the country's first president, Aleksandr
LUKASHENKO has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian
means. Government restrictions on freedom of speech and the press,
peaceful assembly, and religion remain in place.







Geography ::Belarus




Location:


Eastern Europe, east of Poland



Geographic coordinates:


53 00 N, 28 00 E



Map references:


Europe



Area:


total: 207,600 sq km
country comparison to the world: 85
land: 202,900 sq km

water: 4,700 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than Kansas



Land boundaries:


total: 3,306 km

border countries: Latvia 171 km, Lithuania 680 km, Poland 605 km,
Russia 959 km, Ukraine 891 km



Coastline:


0 km (landlocked)



Maritime claims:


none (landlocked)



Climate:


cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between
continental and maritime



Terrain:


generally flat and contains much marshland



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Nyoman River 90 m

highest point: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m



Natural resources:


forests, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas,
granite, dolomitic limestone, marl, chalk, sand, gravel, clay



Land use:


arable land: 26.77%

permanent crops: 0.6%

other: 72.63% (2005)



Irrigated land:


1,310 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


58 cu km (1997)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 2.79 cu km/yr (23%/47%/30%)

per capita: 286 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


NA



Environment - current issues:


soil pollution from pesticide use; southern part of the country
contaminated with fallout from 1986 nuclear reactor accident at
Chornobyl' in northern Ukraine



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Sulfur 85, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate
Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine
Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


landlocked; glacial scouring accounts for the flatness of Belarusian
terrain and for its 11,000 lakes







People ::Belarus




Population:


9,648,533 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86


Age structure:


0-14 years: 14.3% (male 707,550/female 667,560)

15-64 years: 71.3% (male 3,337,253/female 3,540,916)

65 years and over: 14.5% (male 446,746/female 948,508) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 38.6 years

male: 35.6 years

female: 41.6 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


-0.378% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 224


Birth rate:


9.71 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 199


Death rate:


13.86 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24


Net migration rate:


0.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67


Urbanization:


urban population: 73% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.47 male(s)/female

total population: 0.87 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 6.43 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 177
male: 7.45 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 5.36 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 70.63 years
country comparison to the world: 141
male: 64.95 years

female: 76.67 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.24 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 213


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


0.2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


13,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


1,100 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69


Nationality:


noun: Belarusian(s)

adjective: Belarusian



Ethnic groups:


Belarusian 81.2%, Russian 11.4%, Polish 3.9%, Ukrainian 2.4%, other
1.1% (1999 census)



Religions:


Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Protestant,
Jewish, and Muslim) 20% (1997 est.)



Languages:


Belarusian, Russian, other



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.6%

male: 99.8%

female: 99.4% (1999 census)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 15 years

male: 14 years

female: 15 years (2006)



Education expenditures:


6.1% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 39






Government ::Belarus




Country name:


conventional long form: Republic of Belarus

conventional short form: Belarus

local long form: Respublika Byelarus'

local short form: Byelarus'

former: Belorussian (Byelorussian) Soviet Socialist Republic



Government type:


republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship



Capital:


name: Minsk

geographic coordinates: 53 54 N, 27 34 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October



Administrative divisions:


6 provinces (voblastsi, singular - voblasts') and 1 municipality*
(horad); Brest, Homyel', Horad Minsk*, Hrodna, Mahilyow, Minsk,
Vitsyebsk

note: administrative divisions have the same names as their
administrative centers



Independence:


25 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)



National holiday:


Independence Day, 3 July (1944); note - 3 July 1944 was the date
Minsk was liberated from German troops, 25 August 1991 was the date
of independence from the Soviet Union



Constitution:


15 March 1994; revised by national referendum of 24 November 1996
giving the presidency greatly expanded powers and became effective
27 November 1996; revised again 17 October 2004 removing
presidential term limits



Legal system:


based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: President Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994)

head of government: Prime Minister Sergey SIDORSKIY (since 19
December 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir SEMASHKO (since
December 2003)

cabinet: Council of Ministers

elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term;
first election took place 23 June and 10 July 1994; according to the
1994 constitution, the next election should have been held in 1999,
however, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO extended his term to 2001 via a
November 1996 referendum; subsequent election held 9 September 2001;
an October 2004 referendum ended presidential term limits and
allowed the president to run in a third election, which was held on
19 March 2006; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed
by the president

election results: Aleksandr LUKASHENKO reelected president; percent
of vote - Aleksandr LUKASHENKO 82.6%, Aleksandr MILINKEVICH 6%,
Aleksandr KOZULIN 2.3%; note - election marred by electoral fraud



Legislative branch:


bicameral National Assembly or Natsionalnoye Sobranie consists of
the Council of the Republic or Soviet Respubliki (64 seats; 56
members elected by regional councils and eight members appointed by
the president, to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of
Representatives or Palata Predstaviteley (110 seats; members elected
by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: Palata Predstaviteley - last held 28 September and 3
October 2008 (next to be held fall of 2012); international observers
determined that despite minor improvements the election ultimately
fell short of democratic standards; pro-LUKASHENKO candidates won
every seat

election results: Soviet Respubliki - percent of vote by party - NA;
seats by party - NA; Palata Predstaviteley - percent of vote by
party - NA; seats by party - NA



Judicial branch:


Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president);
Constitutional Court (half of the judges appointed by the president
and half appointed by the Chamber of Representatives)



Political parties and leaders:


pro-government parties: Agrarian Party or AP [Mikhail SHIMANSKY];
Communist Party of Belarus or KPB; Belarusian Patriotic Movement
(Belarusian Patriotic Party) or BPR [Nikolay ULAKHOVICH, chairman];
Liberal Democratic Party [Sergey GAYDUKEVICH]; Republican Party of
Labor and Justice [Viktor SOKOLOV]; Social-Sports Party [Vladimir
ALEXANDROVICH]

opposition parties: Belarusian Christian Democracy Party
(unregistered) [Pavel SEVERINETS]; Belarusian Party of Communists or
PKB [Sergey KALYAKIN]; Belarusian Party of Labor (unregistered)
[Aleksandr BUKHVOSTOV, Leonid LEMESHONAK]; Belarusian Popular Front
or BPF [Levon BARSHCHEVSKIY]; Belarusian Social-Democratic Gramada
[Stanislav SHUSHKEVICH]; Belarusian Social Democratic Party Hramada
(People's Assembly) or BSDPH [Anatoliy LEVKOVICH]; European
Coalition [Nikolay STATKEVICH]; Green Party [Oleg GROMYKO]; Party of
Freedom and Progress (unregistered) [Vladimir NOVOSYAD]; United
Civic Party or UCP [Anatoliy LEBEDKO]; Women's Party Hope (Nadezhda)
[Valentina MATUSEVICH, chairperson]

other opposition includes: Christian Conservative BPF [Zyanon
PAZNIAK]; Ecological Party of Greens [Mikhail KARTASH]; Party of
Popular Accord [Sergey YERMAKK]; Republican Party [Vladimir BELAZOR]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Assembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs [Sergey MATSKEVICH]; Belarusian
Congress of Democratic Trade Unions [Aleksandr YAROSHUK]; Belarusian
Helsinki Committee [Tatiana PROTKO]; Belarusian Organization of
Working Women [Irina ZHIKHAR]; BPF-Youth [Franak VYACHORKA]; Charter
97 [Andrey SANNIKOV]; For Freedom [Aleksandr MILINKEVICH]; Lenin
Communist Union of Youth (youth wing of the Belarusian Party of
Communists or PKB); National Strike Committee of Entrepreneurs
[Aleksandr VASILYEV, Valery LEVONEVSKY]; Partnership NGO [Nikolay
ASTREYKA]; Perspektiva kiosk watchdog NGO [Anatol SHUMCHENKO];
Vyasna [Ales BYALATSKY]; Women's Independent Democratic Movement
[Ludmila PETINA]; Young Belarus (Malady Belarus) [Artur FINKEVICH];
Youth Front (Malady Front) [Dmitriy DASHKEVICH]; Zubr youth group
[Vladimir KOBETS]



International organization participation:


BSEC (observer), CEI, CIS, CSTO, EAEC, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, IAEA,
IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMSO, Interpol, IOC,
IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, NSG, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN,
UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
(observer)



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge D'Affaires Oleg
KRAVCHENKO

chancery: 1619 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 986-1604

FAX: [1] (202) 986-1805

consulate(s) general: New York



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jonathan
MOORE

embassy: 46 Starovilenskaya Street, Minsk 220002

mailing address: PSC 78, Box B Minsk, APO 09723

telephone: [375] (17) 210-12-83, 217-7347 through 7348

FAX: [375] (17) 234-7853



Flag description:


red horizontal band (top) and green horizontal band one-half the
width of the red band; a white vertical stripe on the hoist side
bears Belarusian national ornamentation in red; the red band color
recalls past struggles from oppression, the green band represents
hope and the many forests of the country







Economy ::Belarus




Economy - overview:


Belarus has seen little structural reform since 1995, when President
LUKASHENKO launched the country on the path of "market socialism."
In keeping with this policy, LUKASHENKO reimposed administrative
controls over prices and currency exchange rates and expanded the
state's right to intervene in the management of private enterprises.
Since 2005, the government has re-nationalized a number of private
companies. In addition, businesses have been subject to pressure by
central and local governments, e.g., arbitrary changes in
regulations, numerous rigorous inspections, retroactive application
of new business regulations, and arrests of "disruptive" businessmen
and factory owners. A wide range of redistributive policies has
helped those at the bottom of the ladder; the Gini coefficient is
among the lowest in the world. Because of these restrictive economic
policies, Belarus has had trouble attracting foreign investment.
Nevertheless, government statistics indicate GDP growth has been
strong in recent years, reaching 10% in 2008, despite the roadblocks
of a tough, centrally directed economy with a high rate of
inflation. Belarus receives discounted oil and natural gas from
Russia and much of Belarus' growth can be attributed to the
re-export of Russian oil at market prices. Trade with Russia - by
far its largest single trade partner - decreased in 2007-08, largely
as a result of a change in the way the Value Added Tax (VAT) on
trade was collected. Russia has introduced an export duty on oil
shipped to Belarus, which will increase gradually through 2009, and
a requirement that Belarusian duties on re-exported Russian oil be
shared with Russia - 80% was slated to go to Russia in 2008, and 85%
in 2009. Russia also increased Belarusian natural gas prices from
$47 per thousand cubic meters (tcm)in 2006 to $100 per tcm in 2007,
and to $128 per tcm in 2008, and plans to increase prices gradually
to world levels by 2011. Russia's recent policy of bringing energy
prices for Belarus to world market levels may result in a slowdown
in economic growth in Belarus over the next few years. Some policy
measures, including improving energy efficiency and diversifying
exports, have been introduced, but external borrowing has been the
main mechanism used to manage the growing pressures on the economy.
Belarus felt the effects of the global financial crisis in late 2008
and reached agreement with Russia in November for a $2 billion
stabilization loan and with the IMF for a $2.5 billion stand-by
agreement in January 2009. In line with IMF conditionality, Belarus
devalued the ruble approximately 20% in January 2009 and has
tightened some fiscal and monetary policies. Belarus's economic
growth is likely to slow in 2009 as it faces decreasing demand for
its exports, and will find it difficult to increase external
borrowing if the credit markets continue to tighten.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$114.3 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
$103.9 billion (2007 est.)

$96.06 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$60.3 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


10% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
8.2% (2007 est.)

9.9% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$11,800 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93
$10,700 (2007 est.)

$9,800 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 8.5%

industry: 41.2%

services: 50.3% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


4.869 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 77


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 14%

industry: 34.7%

services: 51.3% (2003 est.)



Unemployment rate:


1.6% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 12
note: officially registered unemployed; large number of
underemployed workers



Population below poverty line:


27.1% (2003 est.)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 3.6%

highest 10%: 22% (2005)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


27.9 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 122
21.7 (1998)



Investment (gross fixed):


31.9% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19


Budget:


revenues: $25.15 billion

expenditures: $25.97 billion (2008 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


14.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
8.4% (2007 est.)



Central bank discount rate:


12% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 37
10% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


8.55% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 99
8.58% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$4.872 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 55
$4.065 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$8.784 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 55
$6.823 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$18.42 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 60
$12.16 billion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA



Agriculture - products:


grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, flax; beef, milk



Industries:


metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers,
motorcycles, televisions, synthetic fibers, fertilizer, textiles,
radios, refrigerators



Industrial production growth rate:


12% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5


Electricity - production:


29.92 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63


Electricity - consumption:


30.54 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58


Electricity - exports:


5.062 billion kWh (2007 est.)



Electricity - imports:


9.406 billion kWh (2007 est.)



Oil - production:


32,950 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68


Oil - consumption:


184,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60


Oil - exports:


303,900 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39


Oil - imports:


444,800 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28


Oil - proved reserves:


198 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58


Natural gas - production:


152 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77


Natural gas - consumption:


21.75 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 48


Natural gas - imports:


21.6 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13


Natural gas - proved reserves:


2.832 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94


Current account balance:


-$5.063 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
-$3.042 billion (2007 est.)



Exports:


$33.04 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
$24.33 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


machinery and equipment, mineral products, chemicals, metals,
textiles, foodstuffs



Exports - partners:


Russia 32.2%, Netherlands 16.9%, Ukraine 8.5%, Latvia 6.6%, Poland
5.5%, UK 4.4% (2008)



Imports:


$39.16 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
$28.4 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs,
metals



Imports - partners:


Russia 59.8%, Germany 7.1%, Ukraine 5.4% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$2.687 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
$3.952 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$15.15 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 77
$12.49 billion (31 December 2007)



Exchange rates:


Belarusian rubles (BYB/BYR) per US dollar - 2,130 (2008 est.), 2,145
(2007), 2,144.6 (2006), 2,150 (2005), 2,160.26 (2004)







Communications ::Belarus




Telephones - main lines in use:


3.718 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 41


Telephones - mobile cellular:


8.693 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 66


Telephone system:


general assessment: Belarus lags behind its neighbors in upgrading
telecommunications infrastructure; state-owned Beltelcom is the sole
provider of fixed-line local and long distance service; fixed-line
teledensity of roughly 35 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone
density of about 90 per 100 persons; modernization of the network
progressing with roughly two-thirds of switching equipment now
digital

domestic: fixed-line penetration is improving although rural areas
continue to be underserved; 3 GSM wireless networks are experiencing
rapid growth; strict government controls on telecommunications
technologies

international: country code - 375; Belarus is a member of the
Trans-European Line (TEL), Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line,
and has access to the Trans-Siberia Line (TSL); 3 fiber-optic
segments provide connectivity to Latvia, Poland, Russia, and
Ukraine; worldwide service is available to Belarus through this
infrastructure; additional analog lines to Russia; Intelsat,
Eutelsat, and Intersputnik earth stations (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 28, FM 37, shortwave 11 (1998)



Television broadcast stations:


47 (plus 27 repeaters) (1995)



Internet country code:


.by



Internet hosts:


113,115 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 70


Internet users:


3.107 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 57






Transportation ::Belarus




Airports:


65 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 75


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 35

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 22

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 7 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 30

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 25 (2009)



Heliports:


1 (2009)



Pipelines:


gas 5,250 km; oil 1,528 km; refined products 1,730 km (2008)



Railways:


total: 5,538 km
country comparison to the world: 32
broad gauge: 5,512 km 1.520-m gauge (874 km electrified)

standard gauge: 25 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)



Roadways:


total: 94,797 km
country comparison to the world: 48
paved: 84,028 km

unpaved: 10,769 km (2005)



Waterways:


2,500 km (use limited by location on perimeter of country and by
shallowness) (2003)
country comparison to the world: 36


Ports and terminals:


Mazyr







Military ::Belarus




Military branches:


Belarus Armed Forces: Land Force, Air and Air Defense Force (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


18-27 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript
service obligation - 18 months (2005)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 2,491,643

females age 16-49: 2,528,779 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 1,720,049

females age 16-49: 2,069,898 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 60,009

female: 56,834 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


1.4% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117






Transnational Issues ::Belarus




Disputes - international:


Boundary demarcated with Latvia and Lithuania in 2006; 1997 boundary
delimitation treaty with Ukraine remains unratified over unresolved
financial claims, preventing demarcation and diminishing border
security



Illicit drugs:


limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for the
domestic market; transshipment point for illicit drugs to and via
Russia, and to the Baltics and Western Europe; a small and lightly
regulated financial center; anti-money-laundering legislation does
not meet international standards and was weakened further when
know-your-customer requirements were curtailed in 2008; few
investigations or prosecutions of money-laundering activities (2008)









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Belgium  (Europe)

Introduction ::Belgium




Background:


Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was
occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country
prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically
advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions
between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the
French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to
constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition
and autonomy.







Geography ::Belgium




Location:


Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the
Netherlands



Geographic coordinates:


50 50 N, 4 00 E



Map references:


Europe



Area:


total: 30,528 sq km
country comparison to the world: 140
land: 30,278 sq km

water: 250 sq km



Area - comparative:


about the size of Maryland



Land boundaries:


total: 1,385 km

border countries: France 620 km, Germany 167 km, Luxembourg 148 km,
Netherlands 450 km



Coastline:


66.5 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: geographic coordinates define outer limit

continental shelf: median line with neighbors



Climate:


temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy



Terrain:


flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, rugged
mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: North Sea 0 m

highest point: Signal de Botrange 694 m



Natural resources:


construction materials, silica sand, carbonates



Land use:


arable land: 27.42%

permanent crops: 0.69%

other: 71.89%

note: includes Luxembourg (2005)



Irrigated land:


400 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


20.8 cu km (2005)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 7.44 cu km/yr (13%/85%/1%)

per capita: 714 cu m/yr (1998)



Natural hazards:


flooding is a threat along rivers and in areas of reclaimed coastal
land, protected from the sea by concrete dikes



Environment - current issues:


the environment is exposed to intense pressures from human
activities: urbanization, dense transportation network, industry,
extensive animal breeding and crop cultivation; air and water
pollution also have repercussions for neighboring countries;
uncertainties regarding federal and regional responsibilities (now
resolved) had slowed progress in tackling environmental challenges



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85,
Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds,
Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources,
Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change,
Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine
Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship
Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


crossroads of Western Europe; most West European capitals within
1,000 km of Brussels, the seat of both the European Union and NATO







People ::Belgium




Population:


10,414,336 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78


Age structure:


0-14 years: 16.1% (male 857,373/female 822,303)

15-64 years: 66.3% (male 3,480,072/female 3,419,721)

65 years and over: 17.6% (male 760,390/female 1,074,477) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 41.7 years

male: 40.4 years

female: 43 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


0.094% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192


Birth rate:


10.15 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193


Death rate:


10.44 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58


Net migration rate:


1.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52


Urbanization:


urban population: 97% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 4.44 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 201
male: 4.99 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.87 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 79.22 years
country comparison to the world: 33
male: 76.06 years

female: 82.53 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.65 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 176


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


0.2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


15,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


fewer than 100 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151


Nationality:


noun: Belgian(s)

adjective: Belgian



Ethnic groups:


Fleming 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%



Religions:


Roman Catholic 75%, other (includes Protestant) 25%



Languages:


Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less
than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99%

male: 99%

female: 99% (2003 est.)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 16 years

male: 16 years

female: 16 years (2006)



Education expenditures:


6% of GDP (2004)
country comparison to the world: 40






Government ::Belgium




Country name:


conventional long form: Kingdom of Belgium

conventional short form: Belgium

local long form: Royaume de Belgique/Koninkrijk Belgie

local short form: Belgique/Belgie



Government type:


federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy



Capital:


name: Brussels

geographic coordinates: 50 50 N, 4 20 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October



Administrative divisions:


3 regions (French: regions, singular - region; Dutch: gewesten,
singular - gewest); Brussels-Capital Region, also known as Brussels
Hoofdstedelijk Gewest (Dutch), Region de Bruxelles-Capitale (French
long form), Bruxelles-Capitale (French short form); Flemish Region
(Flanders), also known as Vlaams Gewest (Dutch long form),
Vlaanderen (Dutch short form), Region Flamande (French long form),
Flandre (French short form); Walloon Region (Wallonia), also known
as Region Wallone (French long form), Wallonie (French short form),
Waals Gewest (Dutch long form), Wallonie (Dutch short form)

note: as a result of the 1993 constitutional revision that furthered
devolution into a federal state, there are now three levels of
government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a
complex division of responsibilities



Independence:


4 October 1830 (a provisional government declared independence from
the Netherlands); 21 July 1831 (King LEOPOLD I ascended to the
throne)



National holiday:


21 July (1831) ascension to the Throne of King LEOPOLD I



Constitution:


7 February 1831; amended many times; revised 14 July 1993 to create
a federal state



Legal system:


based on civil law system influenced by English constitutional
theory; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction with reservations



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal and compulsory



Executive branch:


chief of state: King ALBERT II (since 9 August 1993); Heir Apparent
Prince PHILIPPE, son of the monarch

head of government: Prime Minister Herman VAN ROMPUY (30 December
2008)

cabinet: Council of Ministers are formally appointed by the monarch

elections: the monarchy is hereditary and constitutional; following
legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the
leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister
by the monarch and then approved by parliament



Legislative branch:


bicameral Parliament consists of a Senate or Senaat in Dutch, Senat
in French (71 seats; 40 members are directly elected by popular
vote, 31 are indirectly elected; members serve four-year terms) and
a Chamber of Deputies or Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers in Dutch,
Chambre des Representants in French (150 seats; members are directly
elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation
to serve four-year terms)

elections: Senate and Chamber of Deputies - last held 10 June 2007
(next to be held no later than June 2011)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - CDV/N-VA
19.4%, Open VLD 12.4%, MR 12.3%, VB 11.9%, PS 10.2%, SP.A-Spirit
10%, CDH 5.9%, Ecolo 5.8%, Groen! 3.6%, Dedecker List 3.4%, FN 2.3%,
other 2.8%; seats by party - CDV 12, MR 11, Open VLD 9, VB 8, PS 7,
SP.A 6, CDH 5, Ecolo 5, Groen! 2, LDD 1, FN 1, independents 4;
Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - CDV/N-VA 18.5%, MR
12.5%, VB 12%, Open VLD 11.8%, PS 10.9%, SP.A-Spirit 10.3%, CDH
6.1%, Ecolo 5.1%, Dedecker List 4%, Groen! 4%, FN 2%, other 2.8%;
seats by party - CDV 23, N-VA 7, MR 23, VB 17, Open VLD 18, PS 20,
SP.A 14, CDH 10, Ecolo 8, Dedecker List 5, Groen! 4, FN 1

note: as a result of the 1993 constitutional revision that furthered
devolution into a federal state, there are now three levels of
government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a
complex division of responsibilities; this reality leaves six
governments, each with its own legislative assembly



Judicial branch:


Supreme Court of Justice or Hof van Cassatie (in Dutch) or Cour de
Cassation (in French) (judges are appointed for life by the
government; candidacies have to be submitted by the High Justice
Council)



Political parties and leaders:


Flemish parties: Christian Democratic and Flemish or CDV [Marianne
THYSSEN]; Dedecker List [Jean-Marie DEDECKER]; Flemish Liberals and
Democrats or Open VLD [Bart SOMERS]; Groen! [Mieke VOGELS] (formerly
AGALEV, Flemish Greens); New Flemish Alliance or N-VA [Bart DE
WEVER]; Social Liberal Party or SLP [Geert LAMBERT]; note - prior to
19 April 2008, known as Spirit; Social Progressive Alternative or
SP.A [Caroline GENNEZ]; Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) or VB
[Bruno VALKENIERS]

Francophone parties: Ecolo (Francophone Greens) [Jean-Michel JAVAUX,
Isabelle DURANT]; Humanist and Democratic Center or CDH [Joelle
MILQUET]; National Front or FN [Daniel HUYGENS]; Reform Movement or
MR [Didier REYNDERS]; Socialist Party or PS [Elio DI RUPO]; other
minor parties



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Christian, Socialist, and Liberal Trade Unions; Federation of
Belgian Industries

other: numerous other associations representing bankers,
manufacturers, middle-class artisans, and the legal and medical
professions; various organizations represent the cultural interests
of Flanders and Wallonia; various peace groups such as Pax Christi
and groups representing immigrants



International organization participation:


ACCT, ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members),
Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA,
EU, FAO, G-9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA,
IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM,
IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS
(observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen
Convention, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO,
UNIFIL, UNMIS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WADB (nonregional), WCL, WCO, WEU,
WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Jan MATTHYSEN

chancery: 3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 333-6900

FAX: [1] (202) 333-3079

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Wayne BUSH

embassy: 27 Boulevard du Regent [Regentlaan], B-1000 Brussels

mailing address: PSC 82, Box 002, APO AE 09710

telephone: [32] (2) 508-2111

FAX: [32] (2) 511-2725



Flag description:


three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), yellow, and red;
the vertical design was based on the flag of France; the colors are
those of the arms of the duchy of Brabant (yellow lion with red
claws and tongue on a black field)







Economy ::Belgium




Economy - overview:


This modern, private-enterprise economy has capitalized on its
central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and
diversified industrial and commercial base. Industry is concentrated
mainly in the populous Flemish area in the north. With few natural
resources, Belgium must import substantial quantities of raw
materials and export a large volume of manufactures, making its
economy unusually dependent on the state of world markets. Roughly
three-quarters of its trade is with other EU countries. Public debt
is more than 80% of GDP. On the positive side, the government
succeeded in balancing its budget during the 2000-2008 period, and
income distribution is relatively equal. Belgium began circulating
the euro currency in January 2002. Economic growth and foreign
direct investment dropped in 2008. In 2009 Belgium is likely to have
negative growth, growing unemployment, and a 3% budget deficit,
stemming from the worldwide banking crisis.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$390.2 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30
$386.3 billion (2007 est.)

$376.5 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$506.2 billion (2008)



GDP - real growth rate:


1% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
2.6% (2007 est.)

3% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$37,500 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
$37,200 (2007 est.)

$36,300 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 0.8%

industry: 23.2%

services: 76.1% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


4.99 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 72


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 2%

industry: 25%

services: 73% (2007 est.)



Unemployment rate:


7% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
7.5% (2007 est.)



Population below poverty line:


15.2% (2007 est.)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 3.4%

highest 10%: 28.4% (2000)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


28 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 120
28.7 (1996)



Investment (gross fixed):


22.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72


Budget:


revenues: $239.4 billion

expenditures: $245.7 billion (2008 est.)



Public debt:


89.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
96.2% of GDP (2004 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


4.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
1.8% (2007 est.)



Central bank discount rate:


3% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 100
5% (31 December 2007)

note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal
lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro
area



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


7.03% (31 December 2008)



Stock of money:


NA (31 December 2008)

NA (31 December 2007)

note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro
area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for
the 16 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual
members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money and quasi
money circulating within their own borders



Stock of quasi money:


NA (31 December 2008)

NA (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$767.1 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 14
$552 billion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 25
$386.4 billion (31 December 2007)

$396.2 billion (31 December 2006)



Agriculture - products:


sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; beef, veal,
pork, milk



Industries:


engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly,
transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and
beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum



Industrial production growth rate:


2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102


Electricity - production:


82.17 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35


Electricity - consumption:


84.88 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33


Electricity - exports:


6.561 billion kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


17.16 billion kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


11,220 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84


Oil - consumption:


716,800 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25


Oil - exports:


507,500 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31


Oil - imports:


1.076 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16


Oil - proved reserves:


0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204


Natural gas - production:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95


Natural gas - consumption:


17.33 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 54


Natural gas - imports:


17.42 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14


Natural gas - proved reserves:


0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106


Current account balance:


-$12.88 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
$7.751 billion (2007 est.)



Exports:


$371.5 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
$323.4 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


machinery and equipment, chemicals, finished diamonds, metals and
metal products, foodstuffs



Exports - partners:


Germany 19.8%, France 17.4%, Netherlands 12.2%, UK 7.2%, US 4.8%,
Italy 4.7% (2008)



Imports:


$387.7 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
$320.9 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


raw materials, machinery and equipment, chemicals, raw diamonds,
pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, transportation equipment, oil products



Imports - partners:


Netherlands 19.4%, Germany 17.2%, France 11%, UK 5.7%, US 5.6%,
China 4.2% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$15.65 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58
$16.51 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$1.354 trillion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 11
$1.539 trillion (31 December 2007)



Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:


$821 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
$747.5 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:


$661.9 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
$593 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Exchange rates:


euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.6827 (2008), 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964
(2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004)







Communications ::Belgium




Telephones - main lines in use:


4.457 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 34


Telephones - mobile cellular:


11.822 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 51


Telephone system:


general assessment: highly developed, technologically advanced, and
completely automated domestic and international telephone and
telegraph facilities

domestic: nationwide cellular telephone system; extensive cable
network; limited microwave radio relay network

international: country code - 32; landing point for a number of
submarine cables that provide links to Europe, the Middle East, and
Asia; satellite earth stations - 7 (Intelsat - 3) (2007)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 7, FM 79, shortwave 1 (1998)



Television broadcast stations:


25 (plus 10 repeaters) (1997)



Internet country code:


.be



Internet hosts:


4.367 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 17


Internet users:


7.292 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 34






Transportation ::Belgium




Airports:


43 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 99


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 27

over 3,047 m: 6

2,438 to 3,047 m: 8

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 9 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 16

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 15 (2009)



Heliports:


1 (2009)



Pipelines:


gas 1,330 km; oil 158 km; refined products 535 km (2008)



Railways:


total: 3,233 km
country comparison to the world: 54
standard gauge: 3,233 km 1.435-m gauge (2,950 km electrified) (2008)



Roadways:


total: 152,256 km
country comparison to the world: 34
paved: 119,079 km (includes 1,763 km of expressways)

unpaved: 33,177 km (2006)



Waterways:


2,043 km (1,528 km in regular commercial use) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 44


Merchant marine:


total: 79
country comparison to the world: 56
by type: bulk carrier 20, cargo 9, chemical tanker 1, container 6,
liquefied gas 20, passenger 2, petroleum tanker 11, roll on/roll off
10

foreign-owned: 6 (Denmark 4, France 2)

registered in other countries: 111 (Bahamas 15, Cyprus 2, France 6,
Gibraltar 2, Greece 16, Hong Kong 3, Liberia 4, Luxembourg 7, Malta
15, Mozambique 2, Netherlands 2, Netherlands Antilles 1, Panama 2,
Portugal 8, Russia 4, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines 8, Sierra Leone 1, Singapore 8, Vanuatu 4) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Antwerp, Gent, Liege, Zeebrugge







Military ::Belgium




Military branches:


Belgian Armed Forces: Land Operations Command, Naval Operations
Command, Air Operations Command (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription
suspended (2008)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 2,407,128

females age 16-49: 2,340,039 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 1,962,409

females age 16-49: 1,905,178 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 62,722

female: 59,969 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


1.3% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126






Transnational Issues ::Belgium




Disputes - international:


none



Illicit drugs:


growing producer of synthetic drugs and cannabis; transit point for
US-bound ecstasy; source of precursor chemicals for South American
cocaine processors; transshipment point for cocaine, heroin,
hashish, and marijuana entering Western Europe; despite a
strengthening of legislation, the country remains vulnerable to
money laundering related to narcotics, automobiles, alcohol, and
tobacco; significant domestic consumption of ecstasy









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Belize  (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Belize




Background:


Belize was the site of several Mayan city states until their decline
at the end of the first millennium A.D. The British and Spanish
disputed the region in the 17th and 18th centuries; it formally
became the colony of British Honduras in 1854. Territorial disputes
between the UK and Guatemala delayed the independence of Belize
until 1981. Guatemala refused to recognize the new nation until 1992
and the two countries are involved in an ongoing border dispute.
Guatemala and Belize are gearing up for a simultaneous referendum to
determine if this dispute will go before the International Court of
Justice at The Hague. Tourism has become the mainstay of the
economy. Current concerns include an unsustainable foreign debt,
high unemployment, growing involvement in the South American drug
trade, growing urban crime, and increasing incidences of HIV/AIDS.







Geography ::Belize




Location:


Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and
Mexico



Geographic coordinates:


17 15 N, 88 45 W



Map references:


Central America and the Caribbean



Area:


total: 22,966 sq km
country comparison to the world: 151
land: 22,806 sq km

water: 160 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than Massachusetts



Land boundaries:


total: 516 km

border countries: Guatemala 266 km, Mexico 250 km



Coastline:


386 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm in the north, 3 nm in the south; note - from
the mouth of the Sarstoon River to Ranguana Cay, Belize's
territorial sea is 3 nm; according to Belize's Maritime Areas Act,
1992, the purpose of this limitation is to provide a framework for
negotiating a definitive agreement on territorial differences with
Guatemala

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm



Climate:


tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry
season (February to May)



Terrain:


flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: Doyle's Delight 1,160 m



Natural resources:


arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower



Land use:


arable land: 3.05%

permanent crops: 1.39%

other: 95.56% (2005)



Irrigated land:


30 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


18.6 cu km (2000)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 0.15 cu km/yr (7%/73%/20%)

per capita: 556 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


frequent, devastating hurricanes (June to November) and coastal
flooding (especially in south)



Environment - current issues:


deforestation; water pollution from sewage, industrial effluents,
agricultural runoff; solid and sewage waste disposal



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law
of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


only country in Central America without a coastline on the North
Pacific Ocean







People ::Belize




Population:


307,899 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177


Age structure:


0-14 years: 37.9% (male 59,462/female 57,117)

15-64 years: 58.6% (male 91,298/female 89,170)

65 years and over: 3.5% (male 5,185/female 5,667) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 20.4 years

male: 20.3 years

female: 20.6 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


2.154% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47


Birth rate:


27.33 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59


Death rate:


5.8 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168


Net migration rate:


NA (2009 est.)



Urbanization:


urban population: 52% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 3.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 23.07 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 94
male: 26 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 19.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 68.2 years
country comparison to the world: 151
male: 66.44 years

female: 70.05 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


3.36 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


2.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


3,600 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


fewer than 200 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106


Major infectious diseases:


degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and
typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)



Nationality:


noun: Belizean(s)

adjective: Belizean



Ethnic groups:


mestizo 48.7%, Creole 24.9%, Maya 10.6%, Garifuna 6.1%, other 9.7%
(2000 census)



Religions:


Roman Catholic 49.6%, Protestant 27% (Pentecostal 7.4%, Anglican
5.3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 5.2%, Mennonite 4.1%, Methodist 3.5%,
Jehovah's Witnesses 1.5%), other 14%, none 9.4% (2000)



Languages:


Spanish 46%, Creole 32.9%, Mayan dialects 8.9%, English 3.9%
(official), Garifuna 3.4% (Carib), German 3.3%, other 1.4%, unknown
0.2% (2000 census)



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 76.9%

male: 76.7%

female: 77.1% (2000 census)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 13 years (2004)



Education expenditures:


5.3% of GDP (2004)
country comparison to the world: 55






Government ::Belize




Country name:


conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Belize

former: British Honduras



Government type:


parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm



Capital:


name: Belmopan

geographic coordinates: 17 15 N, 88 46 W

time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard
Time)



Administrative divisions:


6 districts; Belize, Cayo, Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek, Toledo



Independence:


21 September 1981 (from the UK)



National holiday:


Independence Day, 21 September (1981)



Constitution:


21 September 1981



Legal system:


English law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor General Sir Colville YOUNG, Sr. (since 17
November 1993)

head of government: Prime Minister Dean Oliver BARROW (since 8
February 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar VEGA (since 12 February
2008)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of
the prime minister

elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by
the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the
majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually
appointed prime minister by the governor general; prime minister
recommends the deputy prime minister



Legislative branch:


bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (12 seats;
members appointed by the governor general - 6 on the advice of the
prime minister, 3 on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and
1 each on the advice of the Belize Council of Churches and
Evangelical Association of Churches, the Belize Chamber of Commerce
and Industry and the Belize Better Business Bureau, and the National
Trade Union Congress and the Civil Society Steering Committee; to
serve five-year terms) and the House of Representatives (31 seats;
members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: House of Representatives - last held 6 February 2008
(next to be held in 2013)

election results: percent of vote by party - UDP 56.3%, PUP 40.9%;
seats by party - UDP 25, PUP 6



Judicial branch:


Summary Jurisdiction Courts (criminal) and District Courts (civil
jurisdiction); Supreme Court (the chief justice is appointed by the
governor general on the advice of the prime minister); Court of
Appeal; Privy Council in the UK; member of the Caribbean Court of
Justice (CCJ)



Political parties and leaders:


National Alliance for Belizean Rights or NABR; National Reform Party
or NRP [Cornelius DUECK]; People's National Party or PNP [Wil
MAHEIA]; People's United Party or PUP [John BRICENO]; United
Democratic Party or UDP [Dean BARROW]; Vision Inspired by the People
or VIP [Paul MORGAN]; We the People Reform Movement or WTP [Hipolito
BAUTISTA]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Society for the Promotion of Education and Research or SPEAR
[Gustavo PERERA]; Association of Concerned Belizeans or ACB [David
VASQUEZ]; National Trade Union Congress of Belize or NTUC/B [Rene
GOMEZ]



International organization participation:


ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM,
IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, ITUC,
LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, SICA, UN, UNCTAD,
UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Nestor MENDEZ

chancery: 2535 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 332-9636

FAX: [1] (202) 332-6888

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires J.A. DIFFILY

embassy: Floral Park Road, Belmopan City, Cayo District

mailing address: P.O. Box 497, Belmopan City, Cayo District, Belize

telephone: [501] 822-4011

FAX: [501] 822-4012



Flag description:


blue with a narrow red stripe along the top and the bottom edges;
centered is a large white disk bearing the coat of arms; the coat of
arms features a shield flanked by two workers in front of a mahogany
tree with the related motto SUB UMBRA FLOREO (I Flourish in the
Shade) on a scroll at the bottom, all encircled by a green garland







Economy ::Belize




Economy - overview:


In this small, essentially private-enterprise economy, tourism is
the number one foreign exchange earner followed by exports of marine
products, citrus, cane sugar, bananas, and garments. The
government's expansionary monetary and fiscal policies, initiated in
September 1998, led to sturdy GDP growth averaging nearly 4% in
1999-2007, though growth slipped to 3.8% in 2008 as a result of the
global slowdown, natural disasters, and the drop in the price of
oil. Oil discoveries in 2006 bolstered the economic growth.
Exploration efforts continue and a small increase in production is
expected in 2009. Major concerns continue to be the sizable trade
deficit and unsustainable foreign debt equivalent to nearly 70% of
GDP. In February 2007, the government restructured nearly all of its
public external commercial debt, which helped reduce interest
payments and relieve some of the country's liquidity concerns. A key
short-term objective remains the reduction of poverty with the help
of international donors.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$2.542 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
$2.468 billion (2007 est.)

$2.43 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$1.359 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
1.6% (2007 est.)

5.3% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$8,400 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
$8,400 (2007 est.)

$8,400 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 29%

industry: 16.9%

services: 54.1% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


122,300
country comparison to the world: 173
note: shortage of skilled labor and all types of technical personnel
(2008 est.)



Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 10.2%

industry: 18.1%

services: 71.7% (2007)



Unemployment rate:


8.1% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 113
9.4% (2006)



Population below poverty line:


33.5% (2002 est.)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%



Investment (gross fixed):


27.8% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32


Budget:


revenues: $347 million

expenditures: $386.5 million (2008 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


6.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
2.3% (2007 est.)



Central bank discount rate:


12% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 26
12% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


14.14% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 49
14.33% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$345.7 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 99
$323.9 million (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$653.8 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 105
$549 million (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$955 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 108
$877.6 million (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA



Agriculture - products:


bananas, cacao, citrus, sugar; fish, cultured shrimp; lumber;
garments



Industries:


garment production, food processing, tourism, construction, oil



Industrial production growth rate:


1.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108


Electricity - production:


213.5 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175


Electricity - consumption:


198.5 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


248.4 million kWh (2005)



Oil - production:


3,511 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98


Oil - consumption:


7,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156


Oil - exports:


2,260 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112


Oil - imports:


7,204 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146


Oil - proved reserves:


6.7 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92


Natural gas - production:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96


Natural gas - consumption:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 51


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77


Natural gas - proved reserves:


0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201


Current account balance:


-$153.7 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
-$51.1 million (2007 est.)



Exports:


$464.7 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165
$425.6 million (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood,
crude oil



Exports - partners:


US 35.6%, UK 21.5%, Cote d'Ivoire 5.3%, Italy 4.5%, Nigeria 4% (2008)



Imports:


$788.1 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
$642 million (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods; fuels,
chemicals, pharmaceuticals; food, beverages, tobacco



Imports - partners:


US 37.4%, Mexico 12.9%, Cuba 7.7%, Guatemala 6.1%, Russia 5%, China
4.2% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$166.2 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
$108.5 million (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$954.1 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
$1.2 billion (June 2005 est.)



Exchange rates:


Belizean dollars (BZD) per US dollar - 2 (2008), 2 (2007), 2 (2006),
2 (2005), 2 (2004)







Communications ::Belize




Telephones - main lines in use:


31,100 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 177


Telephones - mobile cellular:


160,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 175


Telephone system:


general assessment: above-average system; fixed-line teledensity of
10 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone density roughly 55 per
100 persons

domestic: trunk network depends primarily on microwave radio relay

international: country code - 501; landing point for the Americas
Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) fiber-optic
telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to South and
Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth
station - 8 (Intelsat - 2, unknown - 6) (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 1, FM 16, shortwave 0 (2006)



Television broadcast stations:


7 (2008)



Internet country code:


.bz



Internet hosts:


3,017 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 142


Internet users:


34,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 178






Transportation ::Belize




Airports:


44 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 96


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 2 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 40

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 12

under 914 m: 27 (2009)



Roadways:


total: 3,007 km
country comparison to the world: 166
paved: 575 km

unpaved: 2,432 km (2006)



Waterways:


825 km (navigable only by small craft) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 71


Merchant marine:


total: 216
country comparison to the world: 33
by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 32, cargo 152, chemical
tanker 2, container 1, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 9, refrigerated
cargo 12, roll on/roll off 5, specialized tanker 1

foreign-owned: 178 (Australia 1, China 71, Croatia 2, Cyprus 1,
Estonia 6, Greece 1, Iceland 2, Italy 3, Japan 8, South Korea 1,
Latvia 12, Norway 3, Peru 1, Russia 31, Singapore 2, Spain 1, Turkey
15, Ukraine 7, UAE 5, UK 5) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Belize City, Big Creek







Military ::Belize




Military branches:


Belize Defense Force (BDF): Army, BDF Air Wing, BDF Volunteer Guard
(2009)



Military service age and obligation:


18 years of age for voluntary military service; laws allow for
conscription only if volunteers are insufficient; conscription has
never been implemented; volunteers typically outnumber available
positions by 3:1 (2008)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 74,605

females age 16-49: 72,926 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 56,135

females age 16-49: 54,732 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 3,632

female: 3,500 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


1.4% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 112






Transnational Issues ::Belize




Disputes - international:


OAS-initiated Agreement on the Framework for Negotiations and
Confidence Building Measures saw cooperation in repatriation of
Guatemalan squatters and other areas, but Guatemalan land and
maritime claims in Belize and the Caribbean Sea remain unresolved;
the Line of Adjacency created under the 2002 Differendum serves in
lieu of the contiguous international boundary to control squatting
in the sparsely inhabited rain forests of Belize's border region;
Honduras claims Belizean-administered Sapodilla Cays in its
constitution but agreed to a joint ecological park under the
Differendum



Illicit drugs:


transshipment point for cocaine; small-scale illicit producer of
cannabis, primarily for local consumption; offshore sector
money-laundering activity related to narcotics trafficking and other
crimes (2008)









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Benin  (Africa)

Introduction ::Benin




Background:


Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a prominent West African
kingdom that rose in the 15th century. The territory became a French
Colony in 1872 and achieved independence on 1 August 1960, as the
Republic of Benin. A succession of military governments ended in
1972 with the rise to power of Mathieu KEREKOU and the establishment
of a government based on Marxist-Leninist principles. A move to
representative government began in 1989. Two years later, free
elections ushered in former Prime Minister Nicephore SOGLO as
president, marking the first successful transfer of power in Africa
from a dictatorship to a democracy. KEREKOU was returned to power by
elections held in 1996 and 2001, though some irregularities were
alleged. KEREKOU stepped down at the end of his second term in 2006
and was succeeded by Thomas YAYI Boni, a political outsider and
independent. YAYI has begun a high profile fight against corruption
and has strongly promoted accelerating Benin's economic growth.







Geography ::Benin




Location:


Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and
Togo



Geographic coordinates:


9 30 N, 2 15 E



Map references:


Africa



Area:


total: 112,622 sq km
country comparison to the world: 101
land: 110,622 sq km

water: 2,000 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than Pennsylvania



Land boundaries:


total: 1,989 km

border countries: Burkina Faso 306 km, Niger 266 km, Nigeria 773 km,
Togo 644 km



Coastline:


121 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 200 nm



Climate:


tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north



Terrain:


mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mont Sokbaro 658 m



Natural resources:


small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber



Land use:


arable land: 23.53%

permanent crops: 2.37%

other: 74.1% (2005)



Irrigated land:


120 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


25.8 cu km (2001)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 0.13 cu km/yr (32%/23%/45%)

per capita: 15 cu m/yr (2001)



Natural hazards:


hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north from December to
March



Environment - current issues:


inadequate supplies of potable water; poaching threatens wildlife
populations; deforestation; desertification



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


sandbanks create difficult access to a coast with no natural
harbors, river mouths, or islands







People ::Benin




Population:


8,791,832
country comparison to the world: 90
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the
effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower
life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of
population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July
2009 est.)



Age structure:


0-14 years: 45.2% (male 2,028,493/female 1,948,353)

15-64 years: 52.1% (male 2,275,662/female 2,308,945)

65 years and over: 2.6% (male 94,569/female 135,810) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 17.2 years

male: 16.8 years

female: 17.7 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


2.977% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14


Birth rate:


39.22 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21


Death rate:


9.45 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74


Net migration rate:


0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76


Urbanization:


urban population: 41% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 64.64 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 34
male: 68.07 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 61.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 59 years
country comparison to the world: 185
male: 57.83 years

female: 60.23 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


5.49 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


1.2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


64,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


3,300 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53


Major infectious diseases:


degree of risk: very high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever

respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis

animal contact disease: rabies (2009)



Nationality:


noun: Beninese (singular and plural)

adjective: Beninese



Ethnic groups:


Fon and related 39.2%, Adja and related 15.2%, Yoruba and related
12.3%, Bariba and related 9.2%, Peulh and related 7%, Ottamari and
related 6.1%, Yoa-Lokpa and related 4%, Dendi and related 2.5%,
other 1.6% (includes Europeans), unspecified 2.9% (2002 census)



Religions:


Christian 42.8% (Catholic 27.1%, Celestial 5%, Methodist 3.2%, other
Protestant 2.2%, other 5.3%), Muslim 24.4%, Vodoun 17.3%, other
15.5% (2002 census)



Languages:


French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in
south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 34.7%

male: 47.9%

female: 23.3% (2002 census)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 7 years

male: 9 years

female: 6 years (2001)



Education expenditures:


4.4% of GDP (2004)
country comparison to the world: 91






Government ::Benin




Country name:


conventional long form: Republic of Benin

conventional short form: Benin

local long form: Republique du Benin

local short form: Benin

former: Dahomey



Government type:


republic



Capital:


name: Porto-Novo (official capital)

geographic coordinates: 6 29 N, 2 37 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

note: Cotonou (seat of government)



Administrative divisions:


12 departments; Alibori, Atakora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines,
Kouffo, Donga, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, Zou



Independence:


1 August 1960 (from France)



National holiday:


National Day, 1 August (1960)



Constitution:


adopted by referendum 2 December 1990



Legal system:


based on French civil law and customary law; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: President Thomas YAYI Boni (since 6 April 2006);
note - the president is both the chief of state and head of
government

head of government: President Thomas YAYI Boni (since 6 April 2006)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term
(eligible for a second term); runoff election held 19 March 2006
(next to be held in March 2011)

election results: Thomas YAYI Boni elected president; percent of
vote - Thomas YAYI Boni 74.5%, Adrien HOUNGBEDJI 25.5%



Legislative branch:


unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (83 seats;
members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 31 March 2007 (next to be held by March 2011)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
FCBE 35, ADD 20, PRD 10, other and independents 18



Judicial branch:


Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle; Supreme Court or
Cour Supreme; High Court of Justice



Political parties and leaders:


Alliance for Dynamic Democracy or ADD; Alliance of Progress Forces
or AFP; African Movement for Democracy and Progress or MADEP [Sefou
FAGBOHOUN]; Benin Renaissance or RB [Rosine SOGLO]; Democratic
Renewal Party or PRD [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI]; Force Cowrie for an
Emerging Benin or FCBE; Impulse for Progress and Democracy or IPD
[Theophile NATA]; Key Force or FC [Lazare SEHOUETO]; Movement for
the People's Alternative or MAP [Olivier CAPO-CHICHI]; Rally for
Democracy and Progress or RDP [Dominique HOUNGNINOU]; Social
Democrat Party or PSD [Bruno AMOUSSOU]; Union for the Relief or UPR
[Issa SALIFOU]; Union for Democracy and National Solidarity or UDS
[Sacca LAFIA]

note: approximately 20 additional minor parties



Political pressure groups and leaders:


other: economic groups; environmentalists; political groups;
teachers' unions and other educational groups



International organization participation:


ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD,
ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO,
Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA,
MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO,
UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional),
WAEMU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Cyrille Segbe OGUIN

chancery: 2124 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 232-6656

FAX: [1] (202) 265-1996



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Gayleatha B. BROWN

embassy: Rue Caporal Bernard Anani, Cotonou

mailing address: 01 B. P. 2012, Cotonou

telephone: [229] 21-30-06-50

FAX: [229] 21-30-03-84



Flag description:


two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red (bottom) with a
vertical green band on the hoist side







Economy ::Benin




Economy - overview:


The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on
subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade.
Growth in real output has averaged around 5% in the past seven
years, but rapid population growth has offset much of this increase.
Inflation has subsided over the past several years. In order to
raise growth still further, Benin plans to attract more foreign
investment, place more emphasis on tourism, facilitate the
development of new food processing systems and agricultural
products, and encourage new information and communication
technology. Specific projects to improve the business climate by
reforms to the land tenure system, the commercial justice system,
and the financial sector were included in Benin's $307 million
Millennium Challenge Account grant signed in February 2006. The 2001
privatization policy continues in telecommunications, water,
electricity, and agriculture though the government annulled the
privatization of Benin's state cotton company in November 2007 after
the discovery of irregularities in the bidding process. The Paris
Club and bilateral creditors have eased the external debt situation,
with Benin benefiting from a G8 debt reduction announced in July
2005, while pressing for more rapid structural reforms. An
insufficient electrical supply continues to adversely affect Benin's
economic growth though the government recently has taken steps to
increase domestic power production.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$12.86 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
$12.28 billion (2007 est.)

$11.75 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$6.712 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


4.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
4.5% (2007 est.)

3.8% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$1,500 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 199
$1,500 (2007 est.)

$1,500 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 33.2%

industry: 14.5%

services: 52.3% (2007 est.)



Labor force:


3.662 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90


Unemployment rate:


NA%



Population below poverty line:


37.4% (2007 est.)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 3.1%

highest 10%: 29% (2003)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


36.5 (2003)
country comparison to the world: 82


Investment (gross fixed):


19.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120


Budget:


revenues: $1.407 billion

expenditures: $1.291 billion (2008 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


7.9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
1.3% (2007 est.)



Central bank discount rate:


4.75% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 114
4.25% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


NA



Stock of money:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$1.324 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$627.2 million (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$520.6 million (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA



Agriculture - products:


cotton, corn, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts,
cashews; livestock



Industries:


textiles, food processing, construction materials, cement



Industrial production growth rate:


3.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71


Electricity - production:


124 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185


Electricity - consumption:


597 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


588 million kWh (2007 est.)



Oil - production:


0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204


Oil - consumption:


21,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120


Oil - exports:


8,770 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96


Oil - imports:


28,900 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102


Oil - proved reserves:


8 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91


Natural gas - production:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97


Natural gas - consumption:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 49


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74


Natural gas - proved reserves:


1.133 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98


Current account balance:


-$735 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
-$407 million (2007 est.)



Exports:


$1.127 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150
$819 million (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


cotton, cashews, shea butter, textiles, palm products, seafood



Exports - partners:


China 15.6%, India 12%, Japan 8.5%, Niger 4.9%, US 4.6%, Nigeria
4.3% (2008)



Imports:


$1.843 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
$1.194 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products



Imports - partners:


China 35.9%, US 13.2%, Thailand 6.5%, France 6.5%, Malaysia 6.2%,
India 4.4% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$1.261 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
$1.209 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$1.2 billion (2007)
country comparison to the world: 150


Exchange rates:


Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 447.81
(2008 est.), 493.51 (2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29
(2004)

note: since 1 January 1999, the West African CFA franc (XOF) has
been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 CFA francs per euro;
West African CFA franc (XOF) coins and banknotes are not accepted in
countries using Central African CFA francs (XAF), and vice versa,
even though the two currencies trade at par







Communications ::Benin




Telephones - main lines in use:


159,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 131


Telephones - mobile cellular:


3.435 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 100


Telephone system:


general assessment: inadequate; fixed-line network characterized by
aging, deteriorating equipment with fixed-line teledensity only
about 2 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone subscribership
has been increasing rapidly

domestic: system of open-wire, microwave radio relay, and cellular
connections; multiple mobile-cellular providers

international: country code - 229; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC
fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and
Asia; satellite earth stations - 7 (Intelsat-Atlantic Ocean) (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 1, FM 34, shortwave 1 (2007)



Television broadcast stations:


6 (2007)



Internet country code:


.bj



Internet hosts:


1,155 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 157


Internet users:


160,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 141






Transportation ::Benin




Airports:


5 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 177


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2009)



Railways:


total: 578 km
country comparison to the world: 113
narrow gauge: 578 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)



Roadways:


total: 16,000 km
country comparison to the world: 121
paved: 1,400 km

unpaved: 14,600 km (2006)



Waterways:


150 km (on River Niger along northern border) (2007)
country comparison to the world: 102


Ports and terminals:


Cotonou







Military ::Benin




Military branches:


Benin Armed Forces (FAB): Army (l'Arme de Terre), Benin Navy (Forces
Navales Beninois, FNB), Benin People's Air Force (Force Aerienne
Populaire de Benin, FAPB) (2008)



Military service age and obligation:


21 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; in
practice, volunteers may be taken at the age of 18; both sexes are
eligible for military service; conscript tour of duty - 18 months
(2006)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 1,908,457

females age 16-49: 1,882,421 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 1,279,053

females age 16-49: 1,292,438 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 101,549

female: 97,856 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


1.7% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 96






Transnational Issues ::Benin




Disputes - international:


in September 2007, Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) intervened to attempt to resolve the dispute over two
villages along the Benin-Burkina Faso border that remain from 2005
ICJ decision; much of Benin-Niger boundary, including tripoint with
Nigeria, remains undemarcated; in 2005, Nigeria ceded thirteen
villages to Benin, but border relations remain strained by rival
cross-border gang clashes; talks continue between Benin and Togo on
funding the Adjrala hydroelectric dam on the Mona River



Refugees and internally displaced persons:


refugees (country of origin): 9,444 (Togo) (2007)



Illicit drugs:


transshipment point used by traffickers for cocaine destined for
Western Europe; vulnerable to money laundering due to poorly
enforced financial regulations (2008)









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Bermuda  (North America)

Introduction ::Bermuda




Background:


Bermuda was first settled in 1609 by shipwrecked English colonists
headed for Virginia. Tourism to the island to escape North American
winters first developed in Victorian times. Tourism continues to be
important to the island's economy, although international business
has overtaken it in recent years. Bermuda has developed into a
highly successful offshore financial center. Although a referendum
on independence from the UK was soundly defeated in 1995, the
present government has reopened debate on the issue.







Geography ::Bermuda




Location:


North America, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, east of
South Carolina (US)



Geographic coordinates:


32 20 N, 64 45 W



Map references:


North America



Area:


total: 54 sq km
country comparison to the world: 231
land: 54 sq km

water: 0 sq km



Area - comparative:


about one-third the size of Washington, DC



Land boundaries:


0 km



Coastline:


103 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm



Climate:


subtropical; mild, humid; gales, strong winds common in winter



Terrain:


low hills separated by fertile depressions



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Town Hill 76 m



Natural resources:


limestone, pleasant climate fostering tourism



Land use:


arable land: 20%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 80% (55% developed, 45% rural/open space) (2005)



Irrigated land:


NA



Natural hazards:


hurricanes (June to November)



Environment - current issues:


sustainable development



Geography - note:


consists of about 138 coral islands and islets with ample rainfall,
but no rivers or freshwater lakes; some land was leased by US
Government from 1941 to 1995







People ::Bermuda




Population:


67,837 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202


Age structure:


0-14 years: 18.3% (male 6,271/female 6,163)

15-64 years: 67.5% (male 22,555/female 23,215)

65 years and over: 14.2% (male 3,979/female 5,654) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 41.3 years

male: 39.9 years

female: 42.7 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


0.647% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147


Birth rate:


11.57 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171


Death rate:


7.3 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125


Net migration rate:


2.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39


Urbanization:


urban population: 100% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 2.46 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 223
male: 2.57 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 2.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 80.43 years
country comparison to the world: 17
male: 77.2 years

female: 83.72 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.99 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


0.297% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 91


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


163 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 161


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


392 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 100


Nationality:


noun: Bermudian(s)

adjective: Bermudian



Ethnic groups:


black 54.8%, white 34.1%, mixed 6.4%, other races 4.3%, unspecified
0.4% (2000 census)



Religions:


Anglican 23%, Roman Catholic 15%, African Methodist Episcopal 11%,
other Protestant 18%, other 12%, unaffiliated 6%, unspecified 1%,
none 14% (2000 census)



Languages:


English (official), Portuguese



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98%

male: 98%

female: 99% (2005 est.)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 14 years (2005)



Education expenditures:


1.2% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 177






Government ::Bermuda




Country name:


conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Bermuda

former: Somers Islands



Dependency status:


overseas territory of the UK



Government type:


parliamentary; self-governing territory



Capital:


name: Hamilton

geographic coordinates: 32 17 N, 64 47 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends
first Sunday in November



Administrative divisions:


9 parishes and 2 municipalities*; Devonshire, Hamilton, Hamilton*,
Paget, Pembroke, Saint George*, Saint George's, Sandys, Smith's,
Southampton, Warwick



Independence:


none (overseas territory of the UK)



National holiday:


Bermuda Day, 24 May



Constitution:


8 June 1968; amended 1989 and 2003



Legal system:


English law



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor Sir Richard GOZNEY (since 12 December 2007)

head of government: Premier Ewart BROWN (since 30 October 2006);
Deputy Premier Paula COX

cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the premier, appointed by the governor

elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the
monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority
party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed
premier by the governor



Legislative branch:


bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (11 seats; members
appointed by the governor, the premier, and the opposition) and the
House of Assembly (36 seats; members are elected by popular vote to
serve up to five-year terms)

elections: last general election held 18 December 2007 (next to be
held not later than 2012)

election results: percent of vote by party - PLP 52.5%, UBP 47.3%;
seats by party - PLP 22, UBP 14



Judicial branch:


Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; Magistrate Courts



Political parties and leaders:


Progressive Labor Party or PLP [Ewart BROWN]; United Bermuda Party
or UBP [Kim SWAN]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Bermuda Employer's Union [Eddie SAINTS]; Bermuda Industrial Union or
BIU [Derrick BURGESS]; Bermuda Public Services Union or BPSU [Ed
BALL]; Bermuda Union of Teachers [Michael CHARLES]



International organization participation:


Caricom (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, ITUC, UPU, WCO, WFTU



Diplomatic representation in the US:


none (overseas territory of the UK)



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Consul General Gregory W. SLAYTON

consulate(s) general: Crown Hill, 16 Middle Road, Devonshire DVO3

mailing address: P. O. Box HM325, Hamilton HMBX; American Consulate
General Hamilton, US Department of State, 5300 Hamilton Place,
Washington, DC 20520-5300

telephone: [1] (441) 295-1342

FAX: [1] (441) 295-1592, 296-9233



Flag description:


red, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and
the Bermudian coat of arms (white and green shield with a red lion
holding a scrolled shield showing the sinking of the ship Sea
Venture off Bermuda in 1609) centered on the outer half of the flag







Economy ::Bermuda




Economy - overview:


Bermuda enjoys the third highest per capita income in the world more
than 50% higher than that of the US. Its economy is primarily based
on providing financial services for international business and
luxury facilities for tourists. A number of reinsurance companies
relocated to the island following the 11 September 2001 attacks and
again after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 contributing to the
expansion of an already robust international business sector.
Bermuda's tourism industry - which derives over 80% of its visitors
from the US - continues to struggle but remains the island's number
two industry. Most capital equipment and food must be imported.
Bermuda's industrial sector is small, although construction
continues to be important; the average cost of a house in June 2003
had risen to $976,000. Agriculture is limited with only 20% of the
land being arable.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$4.5 billion (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162


GDP (official exchange rate):


$NA



GDP - real growth rate:


4.6% (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94


GDP - per capita (PPP):


$69,900 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4


GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 1%

industry: 10%

services: 89% (2002 est.)



Labor force:


38,360 (2004)
country comparison to the world: 193


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture and fishing 3%, laborers 17%, clerical 19%, professional
and technical 21%, administrative and managerial 15%, sales 7%,
services 19% (2004 est.)



Unemployment rate:


2.1% (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20


Population below poverty line:


19% (2000)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%



Budget:


revenues: $738 million

expenditures: $665 million (FY04/05)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


2.8% (November 2005)
country comparison to the world: 32


Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 92
$2.731 billion (31 December 2007)

$2.704 billion (31 December 2006)



Agriculture - products:


bananas, vegetables, citrus, flowers; dairy products, honey



Industries:


international business, tourism, light manufacturing



Industrial production growth rate:


NA%



Electricity - production:


675.6 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154


Electricity - consumption:


628.3 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206


Oil - consumption:


5,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164


Oil - exports:


0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139


Oil - imports:


4,500 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160


Oil - proved reserves:


0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206


Natural gas - production:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206


Natural gas - consumption:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 55


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80


Natural gas - proved reserves:


0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204


Exports:


$763 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 157


Exports - commodities:


reexports of pharmaceuticals



Exports - partners:


Brazil 24.7%, US 16.2%, Germany 12.2%, South Africa 8.9% (2008)



Imports:


$1.162 billion (2006)
country comparison to the world: 169


Imports - commodities:


clothing, fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction
materials, chemicals, food and live animals



Imports - partners:


Italy 26.3%, US 18%, South Korea 17.3%, UK 8.3%, Singapore 5.3%,
France 5.1%, Norway 4.4% (2008)



Debt - external:


$160 million (FY99/00)
country comparison to the world: 184


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:


$15.01 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:


$NA



Exchange rates:


Bermudian dollars (BMD) per US dollar - 1.0000 (fixed rate pegged to
the US dollar)







Communications ::Bermuda




Telephones - main lines in use:


57,600 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 159


Telephones - mobile cellular:


79,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 188


Telephone system:


general assessment: good

domestic: fully automatic digital telephone system; fiber optic
trunk lines

international: country code - 1-441; landing point for the
Atlantica-1 telecommunications submarine cable that extends from the
US to Brazil; satellite earth stations - 3 (2007)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 5, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2005)



Television broadcast stations:


3 (2005)



Internet country code:


.bm



Internet hosts:


15,548 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 107


Internet users:


51,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 169






Transportation ::Bermuda




Airports:


1 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 235


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2009)



Roadways:


total: 447 km
country comparison to the world: 194
paved: 447 km

note: public roads - 225 km; private roads - 222 km (2007)



Merchant marine:


total: 137
country comparison to the world: 44
by type: bulk carrier 23, chemical tanker 3, container 22, liquefied
gas 33, passenger 24, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 18,
refrigerated cargo 9

foreign-owned: 115 (Australia 1, China 10, France 1, Germany 22,
Greece 9, Hong Kong 4, Ireland 1, Israel 3, Japan 2, Nigeria 11,
Norway 5, Sweden 20, UK 3, US 23)

registered in other countries: 50 (Bahamas 12, Marshall Islands 4,
Philippines 34) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Hamilton, Saint George







Military ::Bermuda




Military branches:


Bermuda Regiment (2008)



Military service age and obligation:


18-30 years of age for voluntary or compulsory enlistment in the
Bermuda Regiment; males must register at age 18; term of service is
38 months (2009)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 15,623 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 12,496

females age 16-49: 12,486 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 426

female: 413 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


0.11% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171


Military - note:


defense is the responsibility of the UK







Transnational Issues ::Bermuda




Disputes - international:


none









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Bhutan  (South Asia)

Introduction ::Bhutan




Background:


In 1865, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under
which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding
some border land to British India. Under British influence, a
monarchy was set up in 1907; three years later, a treaty was signed
whereby the British agreed not to interfere in Bhutanese internal
affairs and Bhutan allowed Britain to direct its foreign affairs.
This role was assumed by independent India after 1947. Two years
later, a formal Indo-Bhutanese accord returned the areas of Bhutan
annexed by the British, formalized the annual subsidies the country
received, and defined India's responsibilities in defense and
foreign relations. A refugee issue of over 100,000 Bhutanese in
Nepal remains unresolved; 90% of the refugees are housed in seven
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
camps. In March 2005, King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK unveiled the
government's draft constitution - which would introduce major
democratic reforms - and pledged to hold a national referendum for
its approval. In December 2006, the King abdicated the throne to his
son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK, in order to give him experience
as head of state before the democratic transition. In early 2007,
India and Bhutan renegotiated their treaty to allow Bhutan greater
autonomy in conducting its foreign policy, although Thimphu
continues to coordinate policy decisions in this area with New
Delhi. In July 2007, seven ministers of Bhutan's ten-member cabinet
resigned to join the political process, and the cabinet acted as a
caretaker regime until democratic elections for seats to the
country's first parliament were completed in March 2008. The king
ratified the country's first constitution in July 2008.







Geography ::Bhutan




Location:


Southern Asia, between China and India



Geographic coordinates:


27 30 N, 90 30 E



Map references:


Asia



Area:


total: 38,394 sq km
country comparison to the world: 136
land: 38,394 sq km

water: 0 sq km



Area - comparative:


about one-half the size of Indiana



Land boundaries:


total: 1,075 km

border countries: China 470 km, India 605 km



Coastline:


0 km (landlocked)



Maritime claims:


none (landlocked)



Climate:


varies; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in
central valleys; severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas



Terrain:


mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Drangme Chhu 97 m

highest point: Kula Kangri 7,553 m



Natural resources:


timber, hydropower, gypsum, calcium carbonate



Land use:


arable land: 2.3%

permanent crops: 0.43%

other: 97.27% (2005)



Irrigated land:


400 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


95 cu km (1987)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 0.43 cu km/yr (5%/1%/94%)

per capita: 199 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


violent storms from the Himalayas are the source of the country's
name, which translates as Land of the Thunder Dragon; frequent
landslides during the rainy season



Environment - current issues:


soil erosion; limited access to potable water



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes,
Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea



Geography - note:


landlocked; strategic location between China and India; controls
several key Himalayan mountain passes







People ::Bhutan




Population:


691,141
country comparison to the world: 163
note: the Factbook population estimate is consistent with the first
modern census of Bhutan, conducted in 2005; previous Factbook
population estimates for this country, which were on the order of
three times the total population reported here, were based on
Bhutanese government publications that did not include the census
(July 2009 est.)



Age structure:


0-14 years: 30.2% (male 106,410/female 102,164)

15-64 years: 64.3% (male 235,988/female 208,484)

65 years and over: 5.5% (male 20,169/female 17,926) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 23.9 years

male: 24.5 years

female: 23.3 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


1.267% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107


Birth rate:


20.07 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97


Death rate:


7.39 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123


Net migration rate:


NA



Urbanization:


urban population: 35% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 4.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.13 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.12 male(s)/female

total population: 1.1 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 49.36 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 52
male: 50.38 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 48.29 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 66.13 years
country comparison to the world: 161
male: 65.33 years

female: 66.97 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


2.38 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


less than 0.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


fewer than 100 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


NA



Major infectious diseases:


degree of risk: intermediate

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)



Nationality:


noun: Bhutanese (singular and plural)

adjective: Bhutanese



Ethnic groups:


Bhote 50%, ethnic Nepalese 35% (includes Lhotsampas - one of several
Nepalese ethnic groups), indigenous or migrant tribes 15%



Religions:


Lamaistic Buddhist 75%, Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%



Languages:


Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese
speak various Nepalese dialects



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 47%

male: 60%

female: 34% (2003 est.)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 10 years

male: 11 years

female: 10 years (2006)



Education expenditures:


7% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 22






Government ::Bhutan




Country name:


conventional long form: Kingdom of Bhutan

conventional short form: Bhutan

local long form: Druk Gyalkhap

local short form: Druk Yul



Government type:


constitutional monarchy



Capital:


name: Thimphu

geographic coordinates: 27 29 N, 89 36 E

time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)



Administrative divisions:


20 districts (dzongkhag, singular and plural); Bumthang, Chhukha,
Chirang, Daga, Gasa, Geylegphug, Ha, Lhuntshi, Mongar, Paro,
Pemagatsel, Punakha, Samchi, Samdrup Jongkhar, Shemgang, Tashigang,
Tashi Yangtse, Thimphu, Tongsa, Wangdi Phodrang



Independence:


1907 (became a unified kingdom under its first hereditary king)



National holiday:


National Day (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king), 17
December (1907)



Constitution:


ratified 18 July 2008



Legal system:


based on Indian law and English common law; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK (since 14
December 2006); note - King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK abdicated the
throne on 14 December 2006 and his son immediately succeeded him;
the nearly two-year delay between the former King's abdication and
his son's coronation on 6 November 2008 was to ensure an
astrologically auspicious coronation date and to give the new
King-who had limited experience-deeper administrative expertise
under the guidance of this father

head of government: Prime Minister Jigme THINLEY (since 9 April 2008)

cabinet: Council of Ministers (Lhengye Shungtsog) nominated by the
monarch, approved by the National Assembly; members serve fixed,
five-year terms; note - there is also a Royal Advisory Council
(Lodoi Tsokde), members nominated by the monarch

elections: the monarch is hereditary, but democratic reforms in July
1998 grant the National Assembly authority to remove the monarch
with two-thirds vote; election of a new National Assembly occurred
in March 2008; the leader of the majority party is nominated as the
prime minister



Legislative branch:


bicameral Parliament consists of the non-partisan National Council
(25 seats; 20 members elected by each of the 20 electoral districts
(dzongkhags) for four-year terms and 5 members nominated by the
King); and the National Assembly (47 seats; members elected by
direct, popular vote for five-year terms)

elections: National Council elections last held on 31 December 2007
and 29 January 2008 (next to be held by December 2012); National
Assembly elections last held on 24 March 2008 (next to be held by
March 2013)

election results: National Council - NA; National Assembly - percent
of vote by party - DPT 67%, PDP 33%; seats by party - DPT 45, PDP 2



Judicial branch:


Supreme Court of Appeal (the monarch); High Court (judges appointed
by the monarch); note - the draft constitution establishes a Supreme
Court that will serve as chief court of appeal



Political parties and leaders:


Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party (Druk Phuensum Tshogpa) or DPT
[Jigme THINLEY]; People's Democratic Party or PDP [Tshering TOBGAY]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


United Front for Democracy (exiled); Druk National Congress (exiled)

other: Buddhist clergy; ethnic Nepalese organizations leading
militant antigovernment campaign; Indian merchant community



International organization participation:


ADB, BIMSTEC, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IMF,
Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, NAM,
OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO,
WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)



Diplomatic representation in the US:


none; note - the Permanent Mission to the UN for Bhutan has consular
jurisdiction in the US; address: 763 First Avenue, New York, NY
10017; telephone [1] (212) 682-2268; FAX [1] (212) 661-0551

consulate(s) general: New York



Diplomatic representation from the US:


the US and Bhutan have no formal diplomatic relations, although
informal contact is maintained between the Bhutanese and US Embassy
in New Delhi (India)



Flag description:


divided diagonally from the lower hoist-side corner; the upper
triangle is yellow and the lower triangle is orange; centered along
the dividing line is a large black and white dragon facing away from
the hoist side







Economy ::Bhutan




Economy - overview:


The economy, one of the world's smallest and least developed, is
based on agriculture and forestry, which provide the main livelihood
for more than 60% of the population. Agriculture consists largely of
subsistence farming and animal husbandry. Rugged mountains dominate
the terrain and make the building of roads and other infrastructure
difficult and expensive. The economy is closely aligned with India's
through strong trade and monetary links and dependence on India's
financial assistance. The industrial sector is technologically
backward, with most production of the cottage industry type. Most
development projects, such as road construction, rely on Indian
migrant labor. Model education, social, and environment programs are
underway with support from multilateral development organizations.
Each economic program takes into account the government's desire to
protect the country's environment and cultural traditions. For
example, the government, in its cautious expansion of the tourist
sector, encourages visits by upscale, environmentally conscientious
tourists. Detailed controls and uncertain policies in areas such as
industrial licensing, trade, labor, and finance continue to hamper
foreign investment. Hydropower exports to India have boosted
Bhutan's overall growth, even though GDP fell in 2008 as a result of
a slowdown in India, its predominant export market. New hydropower
projects will be the driving force behind Bhutan's ability to create
employment and sustain growth in the coming years.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$3.533 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169
$2.91 billion (2007 est.)

$2.738 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$1.389 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


21.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
6.3% (2007 est.)

6.5% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$5,200 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
$4,300 (2007 est.)

$4,100 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 22.3%

industry: 37.9%

services: 39.8% (2006)



Labor force:


NA

note: major shortage of skilled labor



Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 63%

industry: 6%

services: 31% (2004 est.)



Unemployment rate:


2.5% (2004)
country comparison to the world: 28


Population below poverty line:


31.7% (2003)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%



Budget:


revenues: $272 million

expenditures: $350 million

note: the government of India finances nearly three-fifths of
Bhutan's budget expenditures (2005)



Public debt:


81.4% of GDP (2004)
country comparison to the world: 11
81.4% of GDP (2004)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


4.9% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84


Commercial bank prime lending rate:


NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 54
14% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$381.1 million (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$220.3 million (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$169.9 million (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA



Agriculture - products:


rice, corn, root crops, citrus, foodgrains; dairy products, eggs



Industries:


cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages,
calcium carbide, tourism



Industrial production growth rate:


NA



Electricity - production:


4.475 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116


Electricity - consumption:


528.8 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160


Electricity - exports:


3.644 billion kWh (2007 est.)



Electricity - imports:


11 million kWh (2007 est.)



Oil - production:


0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 203


Oil - consumption:


1,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187


Oil - exports:


0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140


Oil - imports:


1,168 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187


Oil - proved reserves:


0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201


Natural gas - production:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98


Natural gas - consumption:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 203


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 199


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72


Natural gas - proved reserves:


0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200


Current account balance:


$116 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57


Exports:


$350 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 169


Exports - commodities:


electricity (to India), cardamom, gypsum, timber, handicrafts,
cement, fruit, precious stones, spices



Exports - partners:


India 89%, Bangladesh 6.5%, Italy 1.2% (2008)



Imports:


$320 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 192


Imports - commodities:


fuel and lubricants, grain, aircraft, machinery and parts, vehicles,
fabrics, rice



Imports - partners:


India 59.5%, Japan 13.4%, China 5.6% (2008)



Debt - external:


$713.3 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 158


Exchange rates:


ngultrum (BTN) per US dollar - 41.487 (2007), 45.279 (2006), 44.101
(2005), 45.317 (2004), 46.583 (2003)

note: the ngultrum is pegged to the Indian rupee







Communications ::Bhutan




Telephones - main lines in use:


27,500 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 181


Telephones - mobile cellular:


251,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 170


Telephone system:


general assessment: urban towns and district headquarters have
telecommunications services

domestic: low teledensity; domestic service is very poor especially
in rural areas; wireless service available since 2003

international: country code - 975; international telephone and
telegraph service via landline and microwave relay through India;
satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 0, FM 9, shortwave 1 (2007)



Television broadcast stations:


1 (2007)



Internet country code:


.bt



Internet hosts:


9,096 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 119


Internet users:


40,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 174






Transportation ::Bhutan




Airports:


2 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 197


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2009)



Roadways:


total: 8,050 km
country comparison to the world: 140
paved: 4,991 km

unpaved: 3,059 km (2003)







Military ::Bhutan




Military branches:


Royal Bhutan Army (includes Royal Bodyguard and Royal Bhutan Police)
(2009)



Military service age and obligation:


18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription
(2008)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 190,104

females age 16-49: 167,289 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 150,210

females age 16-49: 135,991 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 7,668

female: 7,379 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


1% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134






Transnational Issues ::Bhutan




Disputes - international:


Bhutan cooperates with India to expel Indian Nagaland separatists;
lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China
continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to
resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic
discrepancies, the largest of which lie in Bhutan's northwest and
along the Chumbi salient









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Bolivia  (South America)

Introduction ::Bolivia




Background:


Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, broke away
from Spanish rule in 1825; much of its subsequent history has
consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and countercoups.
Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982, but leaders have
faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and
illegal drug production. In December 2005, Bolivians elected
Movement Toward Socialism leader Evo MORALES president - by the
widest margin of any leader since the restoration of civilian rule
in 1982 - after he ran on a promise to change the country's
traditional political class and empower the nation's poor,
indigenous majority. However, since taking office, his controversial
strategies have exacerbated racial and economic tensions between the
Amerindian populations of the Andean west and the non-indigenous
communities of the eastern lowlands.







Geography ::Bolivia




Location:


Central South America, southwest of Brazil



Geographic coordinates:


17 00 S, 65 00 W



Map references:


South America



Area:


total: 1,098,581 sq km
country comparison to the world: 28
land: 1,083,301 sq km

water: 15,280 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly less than three times the size of Montana



Land boundaries:


total: 6,940 km

border countries: Argentina 832 km, Brazil 3,423 km, Chile 860 km,
Paraguay 750 km, Peru 1,075 km



Coastline:


0 km (landlocked)



Maritime claims:


none (landlocked)



Climate:


varies with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid



Terrain:


rugged Andes Mountains with a highland plateau (Altiplano), hills,
lowland plains of the Amazon Basin



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Rio Paraguay 90 m

highest point: Nevado Sajama 6,542 m



Natural resources:


tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron,
lead, gold, timber, hydropower



Land use:


arable land: 2.78%

permanent crops: 0.19%

other: 97.03% (2005)



Irrigated land:


1,320 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


622.5 cu km (2000)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 1.44 cu km/yr (13%/7%/81%)

per capita: 157 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


flooding in the northeast (March-April)



Environment - current issues:


the clearing of land for agricultural purposes and the international
demand for tropical timber are contributing to deforestation; soil
erosion from overgrazing and poor cultivation methods (including
slash-and-burn agriculture); desertification; loss of biodiversity;
industrial pollution of water supplies used for drinking and
irrigation



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law
of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life
Conservation



Geography - note:


landlocked; shares control of Lago Titicaca, world's highest
navigable lake (elevation 3,805 m), with Peru







People ::Bolivia




Population:


9,775,246 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84


Age structure:


0-14 years: 35.5% (male 1,767,310/female 1,701,744)

15-64 years: 60% (male 2,877,605/female 2,992,043)

65 years and over: 4.5% (male 193,196/female 243,348) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 21.9 years

male: 21.3 years

female: 22.6 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


1.772% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74


Birth rate:


25.82 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66


Death rate:


7.05 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130


Net migration rate:


-1.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123


Urbanization:


urban population: 66% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 44.66 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 58
male: 48.56 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 40.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 66.89 years
country comparison to the world: 156
male: 64.2 years

female: 69.72 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


3.17 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


0.2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


8,100 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


fewer than 500 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99


Major infectious diseases:


degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and
typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever

water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)



Nationality:


noun: Bolivian(s)

adjective: Bolivian



Ethnic groups:


Quechua 30%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 30%,
Aymara 25%, white 15%



Religions:


Roman Catholic 95%, Protestant (Evangelical Methodist) 5%



Languages:


Spanish 60.7% (official), Quechua 21.2% (official), Aymara 14.6%
(official), foreign languages 2.4%, other 1.2% (2001 census)



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 86.7%

male: 93.1%

female: 80.7% (2001 census)



Education expenditures:


6.4% of GDP (2003)
country comparison to the world: 32






Government ::Bolivia




Country name:


conventional long form: Plurinational State of Bolivia

conventional short form: Bolivia

local long form: Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia

local short form: Bolivia



Government type:


republic; note - the new constitution defines Bolivia as a "Social
Unitarian State"



Capital:


name: La Paz (administrative capital)

geographic coordinates: 16 30 S, 68 09 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

note: Sucre (constitutional capital)



Administrative divisions:


9 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Beni,
Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Potosi, Santa Cruz,
Tarija



Independence:


6 August 1825 (from Spain)



National holiday:


Independence Day, 6 August (1825)



Constitution:


2 February 1967; revised in August 1994; voters approved a new
constitution on 25 January 2009



Legal system:


based on Spanish law and Napoleonic Code; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; the 2009 Constitution incorporates
indigenous community justice into Bolivia's judicial system



Suffrage:


18 years of age, universal and compulsory (married); 21 years of
age, universal and compulsory (single)



Executive branch:


chief of state: President Juan Evo MORALES Ayma (since 22 January
2006); Vice President Alvaro GARCIA Linera (since 22 January 2006);
note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Juan Evo MORALES Ayma (since 22
January 2006); Vice President Alvaro GARCIA Linera (since 22 January
2006)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket
by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held 18
December 2005 (next to be held in December 2009)

election results: Juan Evo MORALES Ayma elected president; percent
of vote - Juan Evo MORALES Ayma 53.7%; Jorge Fernando QUIROGA
Ramirez 28.6%; Samuel DORIA MEDINA Arana 7.8%; Michiaki NAGATANI
Morishit 6.5%; Felipe QUISPE Huanca 2.2%; Guildo ANGULA Cabrera 0.7%



Legislative branch:


bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of Chamber
of Senators or Camara de Senadores (27 seats; members are elected by
proportional representation from party lists to serve five-year
terms) and Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (130 seats; 70
members are directly elected from their districts and 60 are elected
by proportional representation from party lists to serve five-year
terms); note - under representational rules established by the 2009
Constitution, the National Congress will become the Plurinational
Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional; the
number of Deputies will remain at 130, but the number of Senators
will rise to 36

elections: Chamber of Senators and Chamber of Deputies - last held
18 December 2005 (next to be held in December 2009)

election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party -
NA; seats by party - PODEMOS 13, MAS 12, UN 1, MNR 1; Chamber of
Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MAS 73,
PODEMOS 43, UN 8, MNR 6



Judicial branch:


Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges appointed for 10-year terms
by National Congress); District Courts (one in each department);
provincial and local courts (to try minor cases); Constitutional
Tribunal (five primary or titulares and five alternate or suplente
magistrates appointed by Congress; to rule on constitutional
issues); National Electoral Court (six members elected by Congress,
Supreme Court, the president, and the political party with the
highest vote in the last election for four-year terms); note - under
the 2009 Constitution, all Constitutional and Supreme Court judges
will be elected by popular vote



Political parties and leaders:


Free Bolivia Movement or MBL [Franz BARRIOS]; Movement Toward
Socialism or MAS [Juan Evo MORALES Ayma]; Movement Without Fear or
MSM [Juan DEL GRANADO]; National Revolutionary Movement or MNR
[Mirta QUEVEDO]; National Unity [Samuel DORIA MEDINA Arana]; Poder
Democratico Nacional or PODEMOS [Jorge Fernando QUIROGA Ramirez];
Social Alliance [Rene JOAQUINO]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Sole Confederation of Campesino Workers of Bolivia or CSUTCB

other: Cocalero groups; indigenous organizations; labor unions



International organization participation:


CAN, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC,
IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent),
ITSO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINURCAT,
MINUSTAH, MONUC, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNASUR,
UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI,
UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Erika
Angela DUENAS Loayza

chancery: 3014 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 483-4410

FAX: [1] (202) 328-3712

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco

note: as of September 2008, the US has expelled the Bolivian
ambassador to the US



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Krishna URS

embassy: Avenida Arce 2780, Casilla 425, La Paz

mailing address: P. O. Box 425, La Paz; APO AA 34032

telephone: [591] (2) 216-8000

FAX: [591] (2) 216-8111

note: as of September 2008, the Bolivian Government has expelled the
US Ambassador to Bolivia



Flag description:


three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green with
the coat of arms centered on the yellow band

note: similar to the flag of Ghana, which has a large black
five-pointed star centered in the yellow band; in 2009, a
presidential decree made it mandatory for a so-called wiphala - a
square, multi-colored flag representing the country's indigenous
peoples - to be used alongside the traditional flag







Economy ::Bolivia




Economy - overview:


Bolivia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Latin
America. Following a disastrous economic crisis during the early
1980s, reforms spurred private investment, stimulated economic
growth, and cut poverty rates in the 1990s. The period 2003-05 was
characterized by political instability, racial tensions, and violent
protests against plans - subsequently abandoned - to export
Bolivia's newly discovered natural gas reserves to large northern
hemisphere markets. In 2005, the government passed a controversial
hydrocarbons law that imposed significantly higher royalties and
required foreign firms then operating under risk-sharing contracts
to surrender all production to the state energy company. In early
2008, higher earnings for mining and hydrocarbons exports pushed the
current account surplus to 9.4% of GDP and the government's higher
tax take produced a fiscal surplus after years of large deficits.
Private investment as a share of GDP, however, remains among the
lowest in Latin America, and inflation remained at double-digit
levels in 2008. The decline in commodity prices in late 2008, the
lack of foreign investment in the mining and hydrocarbon sectors,
and the suspension of trade benefits with the United States will
pose challenges for the Bolivian economy in 2009.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$43.38 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
$40.88 billion (2007 est.)

$39.08 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$16.6 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


6.1% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
4.6% (2007 est.)

4.8% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$4,500 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
$4,300 (2007 est.)

$4,200 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 11.3%

industry: 36.9%

services: 51.8% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


4.454 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 40%

industry: 17%

services: 43% (2006 est.)



Unemployment rate:


7.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
7.5% (2007 est.)

note: data are for urban areas; widespread underemployment



Population below poverty line:


60% (2006 est.)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 0.5%

highest 10%: 44.1% (2005)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


59.2 (2006)
country comparison to the world: 7
44.7 (1999)



Investment (gross fixed):


18% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130


Budget:


revenues: $8.039 billion

expenditures: $7.5 billion (2008 est.)



Public debt:


45.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
46.3% of GDP (2007 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


14% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
8.7% (2007 est.)



Central bank discount rate:


13% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 59
6.5% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


13.87% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 62
12.86% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$3.998 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 59
$3.032 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$6.339 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 59
$4.729 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$5.433 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 81
$4.759 billion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 97
$2.263 billion (31 December 2007)

$2.223 billion (31 December 2006)



Agriculture - products:


soybeans, coffee, coca, cotton, corn, sugarcane, rice, potatoes;
timber



Industries:


mining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco,
handicrafts, clothing



Industrial production growth rate:


10.6% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10


Electricity - production:


5.495 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111


Electricity - consumption:


4.665 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


51,360 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62


Oil - consumption:


60,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92


Oil - exports:


10,950 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94


Oil - imports:


6,172 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151


Oil - proved reserves:


465 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47


Natural gas - production:


14.2 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35


Natural gas - consumption:


2.41 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78


Natural gas - exports:


11.79 billion cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 17


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76


Natural gas - proved reserves:


750.4 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30


Current account balance:


$2.015 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42
$1.984 billion (2007 est.)



Exports:


$6.448 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
$4.49 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


natural gas, soybeans and soy products, crude petroleum, zinc ore,
tin



Exports - partners:


Brazil 60.1%, US 8.3%, Japan 4.1% (2008)



Imports:


$4.641 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
$3.24 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


petroleum products, plastics, paper, aircraft and aircraft parts,
prepared foods, automobiles, insecticides, soybeans



Imports - partners:


Brazil 26.7%, Argentina 16.3%, US 10.5%, Chile 9.5%, Peru 7.1%,
China 4.8% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$7.722 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
$5.318 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$5.931 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 102
$5.385 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:


$5.998 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 87


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:


$NA



Exchange rates:


bolivianos (BOB) per US dollar - 7.253 (2008 est.), 7.8616 (2007),
8.0159 (2006), 8.0661 (2005), 7.9363 (2004)







Communications ::Bolivia




Telephones - main lines in use:


690,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 90


Telephones - mobile cellular:


4.83 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 89


Telephone system:


general assessment: privatization begun in 1995; reliability has
steadily improved; new subscribers face bureaucratic difficulties;
most telephones are concentrated in La Paz and other cities;
mobile-cellular telephone use expanding rapidly; fixed-line
teledensity of 7 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone density
slighly exceeds 50 per 100 persons

domestic: primary trunk system, which is being expanded, employs
digital microwave radio relay; some areas are served by fiber-optic
cable; mobile cellular systems are being expanded

international: country code - 591; satellite earth station - 1
Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 171, FM 73, shortwave 77 (1999)



Television broadcast stations:


48 (1997)



Internet country code:


.bo



Internet hosts:


105,031 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 71


Internet users:


1 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 87






Transportation ::Bolivia




Airports:


952 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 8


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 16

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 4

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 936

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 4

1,524 to 2,437 m: 58

914 to 1,523 m: 186

under 914 m: 687 (2009)



Pipelines:


gas 4,883 km; liquid petroleum gas 47 km; oil 2,475 km; refined
products 1,589 km (2008)



Railways:


total: 3,504 km
country comparison to the world: 50
narrow gauge: 3,504 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)



Roadways:


total: 62,479 km
country comparison to the world: 71
paved: 3,749 km

unpaved: 58,730 km (2004)



Waterways:


10,000 km (commercially navigable) (2007)
country comparison to the world: 13


Merchant marine:


total: 23
country comparison to the world: 93
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 11, carrier 1, passenger/cargo 1,
petroleum tanker 7, refrigerated cargo 1, specialized tanker 1

foreign-owned: 7 (Bahamas 1, China 1, Iran 1, Singapore 1, Syria 2,
Taiwan 1) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Puerto Aguirre (inland port on the Paraguay/Parana waterway at the
Bolivia/Brazil border); Bolivia has free port privileges in maritime
ports in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay







Military ::Bolivia




Military branches:


Bolivian Armed Forces: Bolivian Army (Ejercito Boliviano, EB),
Bolivian Navy (Fuerza Naval Boliviana, FNB; includes marines),
Bolivian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Boliviana, FAB) (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


18-49 years of age for 12-month compulsory military service; when
annual number of volunteers falls short of goal, compulsory
recruitment is effected, including conscription of boys as young as
14; 15-19 years of age for voluntary premilitary service, provides
exemption from further military service (2009)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 2,295,746

females age 16-49: 2,366,828 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 1,666,697

females age 16-49: 1,906,396 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 108,304

female: 104,882 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


1.9% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 88






Transnational Issues ::Bolivia




Disputes - international:


Chile and Peru rebuff Bolivia's reactivated claim to restore the
Atacama corridor, ceded to Chile in 1884, but Chile offers instead
unrestricted but not sovereign maritime access through Chile for
Bolivian natural gas and other commodities; an accord placed the
long-disputed Isla Suarez/Ilha de Guajara-Mirim, a fluvial island on
the Rio Mamore, under Bolivian administration in 1958, but
sovereignty remains in dispute



Illicit drugs:


world's third-largest cultivator of coca (after Colombia and Peru)
with an estimated 29,500 hectares under cultivation in 2007,
increased slightly when compared to 2006; third largest producer of
cocaine, estimated at 120 metric tons potential pure cocaine in
2007; transit country for Peruvian and Colombian cocaine destined
for Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Europe; cultivation
generally increasing since 2000, despite eradication and alternative
crop programs; weak border controls; some money-laundering activity
related to narcotics trade; major cocaine consumption (2008)









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Bosnia and Herzegovina  (Europe)

Introduction ::Bosnia and Herzegovina




Background:


Bosnia and Herzegovina's declaration of sovereignty in October 1991
was followed by a declaration of independence from the former
Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992 after a referendum boycotted by ethnic
Serbs. The Bosnian Serbs - supported by neighboring Serbia and
Montenegro - responded with armed resistance aimed at partitioning
the republic along ethnic lines and joining Serb-held areas to form
a "Greater Serbia." In March 1994, Bosniaks and Croats reduced the
number of warring factions from three to two by signing an agreement
creating a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On 21 November 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, the warring parties initialed
a peace agreement that brought to a halt three years of interethnic
civil strife (the final agreement was signed in Paris on 14 December
1995). The Dayton Peace Accords retained Bosnia and Herzegovina's
international boundaries and created a joint multi-ethnic and
democratic government charged with conducting foreign, diplomatic,
and fiscal policy. Also recognized was a second tier of government
comprised of two entities roughly equal in size: the Bosniak/Croat
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb-led
Republika Srpska (RS). The Federation and RS governments were
charged with overseeing most government functions. The Office of the
High Representative (OHR) was established to oversee the
implementation of the civilian aspects of the agreement. In 1995-96,
a NATO-led international peacekeeping force (IFOR) of 60,000 troops
served in Bosnia to implement and monitor the military aspects of
the agreement. IFOR was succeeded by a smaller, NATO-led
Stabilization Force (SFOR) whose mission was to deter renewed
hostilities. European Union peacekeeping troops (EUFOR) replaced
SFOR in December 2004; their mission is to maintain peace and
stability throughout the country. EUFOR's mission changed from
peacekeeping to civil policing in October 2007, with its presence
reduced from nearly 7,000 to less than 2,500 troops.







Geography ::Bosnia and Herzegovina




Location:


Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Croatia



Geographic coordinates:


44 00 N, 18 00 E



Map references:


Europe



Area:


total: 51,197 sq km
country comparison to the world: 128
land: 51,187 sq km

water: 10 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than West Virginia



Land boundaries:


total: 1,538 km

border countries: Croatia 932 km, Montenegro 249 km, Serbia 357 km



Coastline:


20 km



Maritime claims:


no data available



Climate:


hot summers and cold winters; areas of high elevation have short,
cool summers and long, severe winters; mild, rainy winters along
coast



Terrain:


mountains and valleys



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m

highest point: Maglic 2,386 m



Natural resources:


coal, iron ore, bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, cobalt,
manganese, nickel, clay, gypsum, salt, sand, forests, hydropower



Land use:


arable land: 19.61%

permanent crops: 1.89%

other: 78.5% (2005)



Irrigated land:


30 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


37.5 cu km (2003)



Natural hazards:


destructive earthquakes



Environment - current issues:


air pollution from metallurgical plants; sites for disposing of
urban waste are limited; water shortages and destruction of
infrastructure because of the 1992-95 civil strife; deforestation



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate
Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


within Bosnia and Herzegovina's recognized borders, the country is
divided into a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation (about 51% of the
territory) and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska or RS (about
49% of the territory); the region called Herzegovina is contiguous
to Croatia and Montenegro, and traditionally has been settled by an
ethnic Croat majority in the west and an ethnic Serb majority in the
east







People ::Bosnia and Herzegovina




Population:


4,613,414 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119


Age structure:


0-14 years: 14.5% (male 344,760/female 323,303)

15-64 years: 70.7% (male 1,645,274/female 1,617,136)

65 years and over: 14.8% (male 279,781/female 403,160) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 39.8 years

male: 38.7 years

female: 41 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


0.339% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172


Birth rate:


8.85 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214


Death rate:


8.63 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89


Net migration rate:


3.17 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28


Urbanization:


urban population: 47% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 9.1 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 155
male: 10.44 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 7.67 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 78.5 years
country comparison to the world: 43
male: 74.92 years

female: 82.34 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.25 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 212


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


less than 0.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


900 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


100 (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149


Nationality:


noun: Bosnian(s), Herzegovinian(s)

adjective: Bosnian, Herzegovinian



Ethnic groups:


Bosniak 48%, Serb 37.1%, Croat 14.3%, other 0.6% (2000)

note: Bosniak has replaced Muslim as an ethnic term in part to avoid
confusion with the religious term Muslim - an adherent of Islam



Religions:


Muslim 40%, Orthodox 31%, Roman Catholic 15%, other 14%



Languages:


Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 96.7%

male: 99%

female: 94.4% (2000 est.)



Education expenditures:


NA







Government ::Bosnia and Herzegovina




Country name:


conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Bosnia and Herzegovina

local long form: none

local short form: Bosna i Hercegovina

former: People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Socialist
Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina



Government type:


emerging federal democratic republic



Capital:


name: Sarajevo

geographic coordinates: 43 52 N, 18 25 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October



Administrative divisions:


2 first-order administrative divisions and 1 internationally
supervised district* - Brcko district (Brcko Distrikt)*, the
Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Federacija Bosna
i Hercegovina) and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska; note -
Brcko district is in northeastern Bosnia and is an administrative
unit under the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina; the district
remains under international supervision



Independence:


1 March 1992 (from Yugoslavia; referendum for independence completed
1 March 1992; independence declared 3 March 1992)



National holiday:


National Day, 25 November (1943)



Constitution:


the Dayton Peace Accords, signed 14 December 1995 in Paris, included
a new constitution now in force; note - each of the entities also
has its own constitution



Legal system:


based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age, 16 if employed; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: Chairman of the Presidency Zeljko KOMSIC (chairman
since 6 July 2009; presidency member since 1 October 2006 - Croat);
other members of the three-member presidency rotating (every eight
months): Haris SILAJDZIC (presidency member since 1 October 2006 -
Bosniak); and Nebojsa RADMANOVIC (presidency member since 1 October
2006 - Serb)

head of government: Chairman of the Council of Ministers Nikola
SPIRIC (since 11 January 2007)

cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the council chairman;
approved by the National House of Representatives

elections: the three members of the presidency (one Bosniak, one
Croat, one Serb) are elected by popular vote for a four-year term
(eligible for a second term, but then ineligible for four years);
the chairmanship rotates every eight months and resumes where it
left off following each national election; election last held 1
October 2006 (next to be held in 2010); the chairman of the Council
of Ministers is appointed by the presidency and confirmed by the
National House of Representatives

election results: percent of vote - Nebojsa RADMANOVIC with 53.3% of
the votes for the Serb seat; Zeljko KOMSIC with 39.6% of the votes
for the Croat seat; Haris SILAJDZIC with 62.8% of the votes for the
Bosniak seat

note: President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Borjana
KRISTO (since 21 February 2007); Vice Presidents Spomenka MICIC
(since NA 2007) and Mirsad KEBO (since NA 2007); President of the
Republika Srpska: Rajko KUSMANOVIC (since 28 December 2007)



Legislative branch:


bicameral Parliamentary Assembly or Skupstina consists of the House
of Peoples or Dom Naroda (15 seats, 5 Bosniak, 5 Croat, 5 Serb;
members elected by the Bosniak/Croat Federation's House of
Representatives and the Republika Srpska's National Assembly to
serve four-year terms); and the national House of Representatives or
Predstavnicki Dom (42 seats, 28 seats allocated for the Federation
of Bosnia and Herzegovina and 14 seats for the Republika Srpska;
members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional
representation, to serve four-year terms); note - Bosnia's election
law specifies four-year terms for the state and first-order
administrative division entity legislatures

elections: House of Peoples - last constituted in January 2003 (next
to be constituted in 2007); national House of Representatives -
elections last held 1 October 2006 (next to be held in 2010)

election results: House of Peoples - percent of vote by
party/coalition - NA; seats by party/coalition - NA; national House
of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats
by party/coalition - SDA 9, SBiH 8, SNSD 7, SDP 5, SDS 3, HDZ-BH 3,
HDZ1990 2, other 5

note: the Bosniak/Croat Federation has a bicameral legislature that
consists of a House of Peoples (58 seats - 17 Bosniak, 17 Croat, 17
Serb, 7 other); last constituted December 2002; and a House of
Representatives (98 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve
four-year terms); elections last held 1 October 2006 (next to be
held in October 2010); percent of vote by party - NA; seats by
party/coalition - SDA 28, SBiH 24, SDP 17, HDZ-BH 8, HDZ1990 7,
other 14; the Republika Srpska has a National Assembly (83 seats;
members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); elections
last held 1 October 2006 (next to be held in the fall of 2010);
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party/coalition - SNSD 41,
SDS 17, PDP 8, DNS 4, SBiH 4, SPRS 3, SDA 3, other 3; as a result of
the 2002 constitutional reform process, a 28-member Republika Srpska
Council of Peoples (COP) was established in the Republika Srpska
National Assembly including eight Croats, eight Bosniaks, eight
Serbs, and four members of the smaller communities



Judicial branch:


BH Constitutional Court (consists of nine members: four members are
selected by the Bosniak/Croat Federation's House of Representatives,
two members by the Republika Srpska's National Assembly, and three
non-Bosnian members by the president of the European Court of Human
Rights); BH State Court (consists of nine judges and three divisions
- Administrative, Appellate and Criminal - having jurisdiction over
cases related to state-level law and appellate jurisdiction over
cases initiated in the entities); a War Crimes Chamber opened in
March 2005

note: the entities each have a Supreme Court; each entity also has a
number of lower courts; there are 10 cantonal courts in the
Federation, plus a number of municipal courts; the Republika Srpska
has five municipal courts



Political parties and leaders:


Alliance of Independent Social Democrats or SNSD [Milorad DODIK];
Bosnian Party or BOSS [Mirnes AJANOVIC]; Bosnian Patriotic Party of
BPS [Sefer HALILOVIC]; Civic Democratic Party or GDS [Ibrahim
SPAHIC]; Croat Christian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina
or HKDU [Marin TOPIC]; Croat Party of Rights or HSP [Zvonko
JURISIC]; Croat Peasants Party or HSS [Marko TADIC]; Croatian
Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina or HDZ-BH [Dragan COVIC];
Croatian Democratic Union 1990 or HDZ1990 [Bozo LJUBIC]; Croatian
Peoples Union [Milenko BRKIC]; Democratic National Union or DNZ
[Rifet DOLIC]; Democratic Party of DP [Dragan CAVIC]; Democratic
Peoples Alliance or DNS [Marko PAVIC]; Liberal Democratic Party or
LDS [Rasim KADIC]; Nasa Stranka or NS [Bojan BAJIC]; New Croat
Initiative or NHI [Kresimir ZUBAK]; Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina
or SBiH [Haris SILAJDZIC]; Party for Democratic Action or SDA
[Sulejman TIHIC]; Party for Work and Progress or RzB [Mladen
IVANKOVIC-LIJANOVIC]; Party of Democratic Progress or PDP [Mladen
IVANIC]; Serb Democratic Party or SDS [Mladen BOSIC]; Serb Radical
Party of the Republika Srpska or SRS-RS [Milanko MIHAJLICA]; Serb
Radical Party-Dr. Vojislav Seselj or SRS-VS [Radislav KANJERIC];
Social Democratic Party of BIH or SDP [Zlatko LAGUMDZIJA]; Social
Democratic Union or SDU [Sejfudin TOKIC]; Socialist Party of
Republika Srpska or SPRS [Petar DJOKIC]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


other: displaced persons associations; student councils; war veterans



International organization participation:


BIS, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM,
IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU,
ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUC, NAM (observer), OAS (observer),
OIC (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SECI, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO,
UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Mitar KUJUNDZIC

chancery: 2109 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

telephone: [1] (202) 337-1500

FAX: [1] (202) 337-1502

consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Charles L. ENGLISH

embassy: Alipasina 43, 71000 Sarajevo

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [387] (33) 445-700

FAX: [387] (33) 659-722

branch office(s): Banja Luka, Mostar



Flag description:


a wide medium blue vertical band on the fly side with a yellow
isosceles triangle abutting the band and the top of the flag; the
remainder of the flag is medium blue with seven full five-pointed
white stars and two half stars top and bottom along the hypotenuse
of the triangle







Economy ::Bosnia and Herzegovina




Economy - overview:


The interethnic warfare in Bosnia and Herzegovina caused production
to plummet by 80% from 1992 to 1995 and unemployment to soar. With
an uneasy peace in place, output recovered in 1996-99 at high
percentage rates from a low base; but output growth slowed in
2000-02. Part of the lag in output was made up in 2003-08 when GDP
growth exceeded 5% per year. Banking reform accelerated in 2001 as
all the Communist-era payments bureaus were shut down; foreign
banks, primarily from Western Europe, now control most of the
banking sector. The konvertibilna marka (convertible mark or BAM)-
the national currency introduced in 1998 - is pegged to the euro,
and confidence in the currency and the banking sector has increased.
Bosnia's private sector is growing and foreign investment is slowly
increasing, but government spending, at nearly 40% of adjusted GDP,
remains high because of redundant government offices at the state,
entity and municipal level. Implementing privatization, however, has
been slow, particularly in the Federation where political division
between ethnically-based political parties makes agreement on
economic policy more difficult. A sizeable current account deficit
and high unemployment rate remain the two most serious macroeconomic
problems. Successful implementation of a value-added tax in 2006
provided a predictable source of revenue for the government and
helped rein in gray market activity. National-level statistics have
also improved over time but a large share of economic activity
remains unofficial and unrecorded. Bosnia and Herzegovina became a
full member of the Central European Free Trade Agreement in
September 2007. Bosnia's economy has been largely sheltered from the
global financial downtown although key economic indicators have
worsened. Key exporters in the metal, automobile and wood processing
industries have reported a worsening performance and have announced
layoffs and output reductions.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$29.77 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
$28.22 billion (2007 est.)

$26.62 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars

Bosnia has a large informal sector that may be as much as 50% of
official GDP



GDP (official exchange rate):


$18.47 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


5.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
6% (2007 est.)

6.9% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$6,500 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
$6,200 (2007 est.)

$5,900 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 10.2%

industry: 23.9%

services: 66% (2006 est.)



Labor force:


1.863 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 122


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 19.8%

industry: 32.6%

services: 47.6% (2007)



Unemployment rate:


29% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
45.5% (31 December 2004 est.)

note: official rate; gray economy may reduce actual unemployment to
25-30%



Population below poverty line:


25% (2004 est.)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 27.4% (2004)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


56.2 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 11


Budget:


revenues: $8.516 billion

expenditures: $8.867 billion (2008 est.)



Public debt:


40% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
34% of GDP (2007 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


7.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
1.6% (2007 est.)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


6.98% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 120
7.17% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$4.49 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 57
$5.13 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$5.614 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 62
$5.597 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$10.26 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 70
$8.895 billion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA



Agriculture - products:


wheat, corn, fruits, vegetables; livestock



Industries:


steel, coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, manganese, bauxite, vehicle
assembly, textiles, tobacco products, wooden furniture, tank and
aircraft assembly, domestic appliances, oil refining



Industrial production growth rate:


11.6% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6


Electricity - production:


11.32 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89


Electricity - consumption:


8.488 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89


Electricity - exports:


4.344 billion kWh (2007 est.)



Electricity - imports:


3.743 billion kWh (2007 est.)



Oil - production:


0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117


Oil - consumption:


29,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112


Oil - exports:


191.8 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131


Oil - imports:


25,990 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106


Oil - proved reserves:


0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 203


Natural gas - production:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204


Natural gas - consumption:


310 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 50


Natural gas - imports:


310 million cu m
country comparison to the world: 63


Natural gas - proved reserves:


0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202


Current account balance:


-$2.764 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145
-$1.931 billion (2007 est.)



Exports:


$5.194 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
$4.243 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


metals, clothing, wood products



Exports - partners:


Croatia 20.7%, Slovenia 16.7%, Italy 16.7%, Germany 13%, Austria
10.3%, Hungary 4.8% (2008)



Imports:


$12.29 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
$9.947 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs



Imports - partners:


Croatia 24.6%, Slovenia 12.7%, Germany 12.3%, Italy 10.5%, Hungary
6.6%, Turkey 6.5%, Austria 6.3% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$3.516 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
$4.525 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$7.388 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
$6.734 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Exchange rates:


konvertibilna markas (BAM) per US dollar - 1.3083 (2008 est.),
1.4419 (2007), 1.5576 (2006), 1.5727 (2005), 1.5752 (2004)

note: the convertible mark is pegged to the euro







Communications ::Bosnia and Herzegovina




Telephones - main lines in use:


1.031 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 80


Telephones - mobile cellular:


3.179 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 106


Telephone system:


general assessment: post-war reconstruction of the
telecommunications network, aided by a internationally sponsored
program under ERBD, resulted in sharp increases in the number of
main telephone lines available; mobile cellular subscribership has
been increasing rapidly

domestic: fixed-line teledensity roughly 22 per 100 persons;
mobile-cellular telephone density has reached 70 per 100 persons

international: country code - 387; no satellite earth stations (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 8, FM 16, shortwave 1 (1998)



Television broadcast stations:


33 (plus 277 repeaters) (September 1995)



Internet country code:


.ba



Internet hosts:


69,370 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 79


Internet users:


1.308 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 81






Transportation ::Bosnia and Herzegovina




Airports:


25 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 132


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 7

2,438 to 3,047 m: 4

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

under 914 m: 2 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 18

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 10 (2009)



Heliports:


5 (2009)



Railways:


total: 1,000 km
country comparison to the world: 88
standard gauge: 1,000 km 1.435-m gauge (590 km electrified) (2008)



Roadways:


total: 21,846 km
country comparison to the world: 107
paved: 11,425 km (4,714 km of interurban roads)

unpaved: 10,421 km (2006)



Waterways:


Sava River (northern border) open to shipping but use limited (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Bosanska Gradiska, Bosanski Brod, Bosanski Samac, and Brcko (all
inland waterway ports on the Sava River), Orasje







Military ::Bosnia and Herzegovina




Military branches:


Bosnia and Herzegovina Armed Forces (OSBiH): Army of Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Air and Air Defense Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Zrakoplovstvo i Protuzracna Obrana, ZPO) (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription
abolished January 2006; 4-month service obligation (2009)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 1,212,007

females age 16-49: 1,170,645 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 991,953

females age 16-49: 959,226 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 27,368

female: 25,644 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


4.5% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23






Transnational Issues ::Bosnia and Herzegovina




Disputes - international:


sections along the Drina River remain in dispute between Bosnia and
Herzegovina and Serbia; discussions continue with Croatia on several
small disputed sections of the boundary related to maritime access
that hinder final ratification of the 1999 border agreement



Refugees and internally displaced persons:


refugees (country of origin): 7,269 (Croatia)

IDPs: 131,600 (Bosnian Croats, Serbs, and Bosniaks displaced in
1992-95 war) (2007)



Illicit drugs:


increasingly a transit point for heroin being trafficked to Western
Europe; minor transit point for marijuana; remains highly vulnerable
to money-laundering activity given a primarily cash-based and
unregulated economy, weak law enforcement, and instances of
corruption









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Botswana  (Africa)

Introduction ::Botswana




Background:


Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted
its new name upon independence in 1966. Four decades of
uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and
significant capital investment have created one of the most dynamic
economies in Africa. Mineral extraction, principally diamond mining,
dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due
to the country's conservation practices and extensive nature
preserves. Botswana has one of the world's highest known rates of
HIV/AIDS infection, but also one of Africa's most progressive and
comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease.







Geography ::Botswana




Location:


Southern Africa, north of South Africa



Geographic coordinates:


22 00 S, 24 00 E



Map references:


Africa



Area:


total: 581,730 sq km
country comparison to the world: 47
land: 566,730 sq km

water: 15,000 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than Texas



Land boundaries:


total: 4,013 km

border countries: Namibia 1,360 km, South Africa 1,840 km, Zimbabwe
813 km



Coastline:


0 km (landlocked)



Maritime claims:


none (landlocked)



Climate:


semiarid; warm winters and hot summers



Terrain:


predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in
southwest



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers 513 m

highest point: Tsodilo Hills 1,489 m



Natural resources:


diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore,
silver



Land use:


arable land: 0.65%

permanent crops: 0.01%

other: 99.34% (2005)



Irrigated land:


10 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


14.7 cu km (2001)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 0.19 cu km/yr (41%/18%/41%)

per capita: 107 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


periodic droughts; seasonal August winds blow from the west,
carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure
visibility



Environment - current issues:


overgrazing; desertification; limited fresh water resources



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law
of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


landlocked; population concentrated in eastern part of the country







People ::Botswana




Population:


1,990,876
country comparison to the world: 146
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the
effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower
life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of
population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July
2009 est.)



Age structure:


0-14 years: 34.8% (male 352,399/female 340,058)

15-64 years: 61.4% (male 613,714/female 608,003)

65 years and over: 3.9% (male 31,155/female 45,547) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 21.7 years

male: 21.5 years

female: 21.9 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


1.937% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64


Birth rate:


22.89 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81


Death rate:


8.52 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93


Net migration rate:


5 migrant(s)/1,000 population
country comparison to the world: 21
note: there is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa
and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (2009 est.)



Urbanization:


urban population: 60% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 12.59 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 141
male: 13.43 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 11.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 61.85 years
country comparison to the world: 178
male: 61.72 years

female: 61.99 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


2.6 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


23.9% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


300,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


11,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28


Major infectious diseases:


degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and
typhoid fever

vectorborne disease: malaria (2009)



Nationality:


noun: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)

adjective: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)



Ethnic groups:


Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other, including
Kgalagadi and white 7%



Religions:


Christian 71.6%, Badimo 6%, other 1.4%, unspecified 0.4%, none 20.6%
(2001 census)



Languages:


Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English 2.1%
(official), other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4% (2001 census)



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 81.2%

male: 80.4%

female: 81.8% (2003 est.)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 12 years (2005)



Education expenditures:


8.7% of GDP (2007)
country comparison to the world: 10






Government ::Botswana




Country name:


conventional long form: Republic of Botswana

conventional short form: Botswana

local long form: Republic of Botswana

local short form: Botswana

former: Bechuanaland



Government type:


parliamentary republic



Capital:


name: Gaborone

geographic coordinates: 24 45 S, 25 55 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)



Administrative divisions:


9 districts and 5 town councils*; Central, Francistown*, Gaborone*,
Ghanzi, Jwaneng*, Kgalagadi, Kgatleng, Kweneng, Lobatse*, Northeast,
Northwest, Selebi-Pikwe*, Southeast, Southern



Independence:


30 September 1966 (from the UK)



National holiday:


Independence Day (Botswana Day), 30 September (1966)



Constitution:


March 1965; effective 30 September 1966



Legal system:


based on Roman-Dutch law and local customary law; judicial review
limited to matters of interpretation; accepts compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction with reservations



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: President Seretse Khama Ian KHAMA (since 1 April
2008); Vice President Mompati MERAFHE (since 1 April 2008); note -
the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Seretse Khama Ian KHAMA (since 1 April
2008); Vice President Mompati MERAFHE (since 1 April 2008)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

elections: president indirectly elected for a five-year term
(eligible for a second term); election last held 20 October 2004
(next to be held on 9 October 2009); vice president appointed by the
president

election results: Festus G. MOGAE elected president; percent of
National Assembly vote - 52%: note - MOGAE stepped down on 1 April
2008 and designated KHAMA to serve out the remainder of his term



Legislative branch:


bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Chiefs (a largely
advisory 15-member body with 8 ex-officio members consisting of the
chiefs of the principal tribes, and 7 non-permanent members serving
5-year terms, consisting of 4 elected subchiefs and 3 members
selected by the other 12 members) and the National Assembly (63
seats, 57 members are directly elected by popular vote, 4 are
appointed by the majority party, and 2, the President and
Attorney-General, serve as ex-officio members; members serve
five-year terms)

elections: National Assembly elections last held 16 October 2009
(next to be held in 2014)

election results: percent of vote by party - BDP 53.3%, BNF 21.9%,
BCP 19.2%, 2.3%, other 4.3%; seats by party - BDP 45, BNF 6, BCP 4,
BAM 1, other 1



Judicial branch:


High Court; Court of Appeal; Magistrates' Courts (one in each
district)



Political parties and leaders:


Botswana Alliance Movement or BAM [Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO];
Botswana Congress Party or BCP [Gilson SALESHANDO]; Botswana
Democratic Party or BDP [Daniel KWELAGOBE]; Botswana National Front
or BNF [Otswoletse MOUPO]; Botswana Peoples Party or BPP [Bernard
BALIKANI]; MELS Movement of Botswana or MELS [Themba JOINA]; New
Democratic Front or NDF [Dick BAYFORD]

note: a number of minor parties joined forces in 1999 to form the
BAM but did not capture any parliamentary seats - includes the
United Action Party [Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO]; the Independence
Freedom Party or IFP [Motsamai MPHO]; the Botswana Progressive Union
[D. K. KWELE]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


First People of the Kalahari (Bushman organization); Pitso Ya Ba
Tswana; Society for the Promotion of Ikalanga Language (Kalanga
elites)

other: diamond mining companies



International organization participation:


ACP, AfDB, AU, C, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU,
ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIS,
UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Lapologang Caesar LEKOA

chancery: 1531-1533 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 244-4990

FAX: [1] (202) 244-4164



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Stephen J. NOLAN

embassy: Embassy Enclave (off Khama Crescent), Gaborone

mailing address: Embassy Enclave, P. O. Box 90, Gaborone

telephone: [267] 395-3982

FAX: [267] 395-6947



Flag description:


light blue with a horizontal white-edged black stripe in the center







Economy ::Botswana




Economy - overview:


Botswana has maintained one of the world's highest economic growth
rates since independence in 1966, though growth fell below 5% in
2007-08. Through fiscal discipline and sound management, Botswana
has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the
world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of $13,300 in
2008. Two major investment services rank Botswana as the best credit
risk in Africa. Diamond mining has fueled much of the expansion and
currently accounts for more than one-third of GDP and for 70-80% of
export earnings. Tourism, financial services, subsistence farming,
and cattle raising are other key sectors. On the downside, the
government must deal with high rates of unemployment and poverty.
Unemployment officially was 23.8% in 2004, but unofficial estimates
place it closer to 40%. HIV/AIDS infection rates are the second
highest in the world and threaten Botswana's impressive economic
gains. An expected leveling off in diamond mining production
overshadows long-term prospects.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$27.11 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
$26.35 billion (2007 est.)

$25.23 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$13.46 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


2.9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
4.4% (2007 est.)

5.1% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$13,900 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
$13,800 (2007 est.)

$13,400 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 1.6%

industry: 52.6% (including 36% mining)

services: 45.8% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


685,300 formal sector employees (2007)
country comparison to the world: 146


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%



Unemployment rate:


7.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96


Population below poverty line:


30.3% (2003)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


63 (1993)
country comparison to the world: 4


Investment (gross fixed):


23.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62


Budget:


revenues: $4.326 billion

expenditures: $4.808 billion (2008 est.)



Public debt:


5.9% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
8.6% of GDP (2004 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


12.6% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
7.1% (2007 est.)



Central bank discount rate:


15% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 17
14.5% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


16.54% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 34
16.22% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$1.008 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 87
$1.026 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$4.183 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 75
$4.336 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$NA (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$3.556 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 82
$5.887 billion (31 December 2007)

$3.947 billion (31 December 2006)



Agriculture - products:


livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts



Industries:


diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash; livestock
processing; textiles



Industrial production growth rate:


-2.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158


Electricity - production:


1.052 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144


Electricity - consumption:


2.648 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


2.181 billion kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116


Oil - consumption:


15,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134


Oil - exports:


0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207


Oil - imports:


15,180 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124


Oil - proved reserves:


0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101


Natural gas - production:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94


Natural gas - consumption:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 46


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71


Natural gas - proved reserves:


0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105


Current account balance:


$750.3 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
$2.434 billion (2007 est.)



Exports:


$4.707 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
$5.158 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


diamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash, meat, textiles



Imports:


$4.486 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
$3.447 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


foodstuffs, machinery, electrical goods, transport equipment,
textiles, fuel and petroleum products, wood and paper products,
metal and metal products



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$9.119 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
$9.79 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$409 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
$408 million (31 December 2007 est.)



Exchange rates:


pulas (BWP) per US dollar - 6.7907 (2008 est.), 6.2035 (2007),
5.8447 (2006), 5.1104 (2005), 4.6929 (2004)







Communications ::Botswana




Telephones - main lines in use:


142,300 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 135


Telephones - mobile cellular:


1.486 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 133


Telephone system:


general assessment: the system is expanding with the growth of
mobile-cellular service and participation in regional development;
system is fully digital with fiber-optic cables linking the major
population centers in the east; fixed-line connections declined in
recent years and now stand at roughly 8 per 100 persons;
mobile-cellular telephone density currently is about 80 per 100
persons

domestic: small system of open-wire lines, microwave radio relay
links, and a few radiotelephone communication stations;
mobile-cellular service is growing fast

international: country code - 267; international calls are made via
satellite, using international direct dialing; 2 international
exchanges; digital microwave radio relay links to Namibia, Zambia,
Zimbabwe, and South Africa; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat
(Indian Ocean) (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 8, FM 13, shortwave 4 (2001)



Television broadcast stations:


2 (1 state-owned, 1 private)



Internet country code:


.bw



Internet hosts:


7,341 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 128


Internet users:


120,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 146






Transportation ::Botswana




Airports:


77 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 71


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 9

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 68

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 54

under 914 m: 10 (2009)



Railways:


total: 888 km
country comparison to the world: 97
narrow gauge: 888 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)



Roadways:


total: 25,798 km
country comparison to the world: 103
paved: 8,410 km

unpaved: 17,388 km (2005)







Military ::Botswana




Military branches:


Botswana Defense Force: Ground Forces (includes Air Arm) (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


18 is the apparent age of voluntary military service; the official
qualifications for determining minimum age are unknown (2001)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 487,853

females age 16-49: 464,278 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 341,190

females age 16-49: 315,588 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 23,420

female: 22,904 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


3.3% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 42






Transnational Issues ::Botswana




Disputes - international:


Botswana still struggles to seal its border from thousands of
Zimbabweans who flee economic collapse and political persecution;
Namibia has long supported, and in 2004 Zimbabwe dropped objections
to, plans between Botswana and Zambia to build a bridge over the
Zambezi River at Kazungula crossing, thereby de facto recognizing
the short, but not clearly delimited, Botswana-Zambia boundary









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Bouvet Island  (Antarctica)

Introduction ::Bouvet Island




Background:


This uninhabited volcanic island is almost entirely covered by
glaciers and is difficult to approach. It was discovered in 1739 by
a French naval officer after whom the island was named. No claim was
made until 1825, when the British flag was raised. In 1928, the UK
waived its claim in favor of Norway, which had occupied the island
the previous year. In 1971, Norway designated Bouvet Island and the
adjacent territorial waters a nature reserve. Since 1977, it has run
an automated meteorological station on the island.







Geography ::Bouvet Island




Location:


island in the South Atlantic Ocean, southwest of the Cape of Good
Hope (South Africa)



Geographic coordinates:


54 26 S, 3 24 E



Map references:


Antarctic Region



Area:


total: 49 sq km
country comparison to the world: 232
land: 49 sq km

water: 0 sq km



Area - comparative:


about 0.3 times the size of Washington, DC



Land boundaries:


0 km



Coastline:


29.6 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 4 nm



Climate:


antarctic



Terrain:


volcanic; coast is mostly inaccessible



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: South Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Olav Peak 935 m



Natural resources:


none



Land use:


arable land: 0%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 100% (93% ice) (2005)



Irrigated land:


0 sq km



Natural hazards:


NA



Environment - current issues:


NA



Geography - note:


covered by glacial ice; declared a nature reserve by Norway







People ::Bouvet Island




Population:


uninhabited







Government ::Bouvet Island




Country name:


conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Bouvet Island



Dependency status:


territory of Norway; administered by the Polar Department of the
Ministry of Justice and Oslo Police



Legal system:


the laws of Norway, where applicable, apply



Flag description:


the flag of Norway is used







Economy ::Bouvet Island




Economy - overview:


no economic activity; declared a nature reserve







Communications ::Bouvet Island




Internet country code:


.bv



Internet hosts:


0 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 230


Communications - note:


automatic meteorological station







Transportation ::Bouvet Island




Ports and terminals:


none; offshore anchorage only







Military ::Bouvet Island




Military - note:


defense is the responsibility of Norway







Transnational Issues ::Bouvet Island




Disputes - international:


none









page last updated on October 28, 2009

======================================================================




@Brazil  (South America)

Introduction ::Brazil




Background:


Following more than three centuries under Portuguese rule, Brazil
peacefully gained its independence in 1822, maintaining a
monarchical system of government until the abolition of slavery in
1888 and the subsequent proclamation of a republic by the military
in 1889. Brazilian coffee exporters politically dominated the
country until populist leader Getulio VARGAS rose to power in 1930.
By far the largest and most populous country in South America,
Brazil underwent more than half a century of populist and military
government until 1985, when the military regime peacefully ceded
power to civilian rulers. Brazil continues to pursue industrial and
agricultural growth and development of its interior. Exploiting vast
natural resources and a large labor pool, it is today South
America's leading economic power and a regional leader. Highly
unequal income distribution and crime remain pressing problems.







Geography ::Brazil




Location:


Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean



Geographic coordinates:


10 00 S, 55 00 W



Map references:


South America



Area:


total: 8,514,877 sq km
country comparison to the world: 5
land: 8,459,417 sq km

water: 55,460 sq km

note: includes Arquipelago de Fernando de Noronha, Atol das Rocas,
Ilha da Trindade, Ilhas Martin Vaz, and Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao
Paulo



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than the US



Land boundaries:


total: 16,885 km

border countries: Argentina 1,261 km, Bolivia 3,423 km, Colombia
1,644 km, French Guiana 730 km, Guyana 1,606 km, Paraguay 1,365 km,
Peru 2,995 km, Suriname 593 km, Uruguay 1,068 km, Venezuela 2,200 km



Coastline:


7,491 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin



Climate:


mostly tropical, but temperate in south



Terrain:


mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills,
mountains, and narrow coastal belt



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Pico da Neblina 3,014 m



Natural resources:


bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum,
tin, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber



Land use:


arable land: 6.93%

permanent crops: 0.89%

other: 92.18% (2005)



Irrigated land:


29,200 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


8,233 cu km (2000)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 59.3 cu km/yr (20%/18%/62%)

per capita: 318 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


recurring droughts in northeast; floods and occasional frost in south



Environment - current issues:


deforestation in Amazon Basin destroys the habitat and endangers a
multitude of plant and animal species indigenous to the area; there
is a lucrative illegal wildlife trade; air and water pollution in
Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and several other large cities; land
degradation and water pollution caused by improper mining
activities; wetland degradation; severe oil spills



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living
Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


largest country in South America; shares common boundaries with
every South American country except Chile and Ecuador







People ::Brazil




Population:


198,739,269
country comparison to the world: 5
note: Brazil conducted a census in August 2000, which reported a
population of 169,872,855; that figure was about 3.8% lower than
projections by the US Census Bureau, and is close to the implied
underenumeration of 4.6% for the 1991 census (July 2009 est.)



Age structure:


0-14 years: 26.7% (male 27,092,880/female 26,062,244)

15-64 years: 66.8% (male 65,804,108/female 67,047,725)

65 years and over: 6.4% (male 5,374,230/female 7,358,082) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 28.6 years

male: 27.8 years

female: 29.3 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


1.199% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110


Birth rate:


18.43 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111


Death rate:


6.35 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151


Net migration rate:


-0.09 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90


Urbanization:


urban population: 86% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.8% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 22.58 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 97
male: 26.16 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 18.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 71.99 years
country comparison to the world: 121
male: 68.43 years

female: 75.73 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


2.21 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


0.6% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


730,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


15,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25


Nationality:


noun: Brazilian(s)

adjective: Brazilian



Ethnic groups:


white 53.7%, mulatto (mixed white and black) 38.5%, black 6.2%,
other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 0.9%, unspecified 0.7%
(2000 census)



Religions:


Roman Catholic (nominal) 73.6%, Protestant 15.4%, Spiritualist 1.3%,
Bantu/voodoo 0.3%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.2%, none 7.4% (2000
census)



Languages:


Portuguese (official and most widely spoken language); note - less
common languages include Spanish (border areas and schools), German,
Italian, Japanese, English, and a large number of minor Amerindian
languages



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 88.6%

male: 88.4%

female: 88.8% (2004 est.)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 15 years (2005)



Education expenditures:


4% of GDP (2004)
country comparison to the world: 105






Government ::Brazil




Country name:


conventional long form: Federative Republic of Brazil

conventional short form: Brazil

local long form: Republica Federativa do Brasil

local short form: Brasil



Government type:


federal republic



Capital:


name: Brasilia

geographic coordinates: 15 47 S, 47 55 W

time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins third Sunday in October; ends
third Sunday in February

note: Brazil is divided into four time zones, including one for the
Fernando de Noronha Islands



Administrative divisions:


26 states (estados, singular - estado) and 1 federal district*
(distrito federal); Acre, Alagoas, Amapa, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceara,
Distrito Federal*, Espirito Santo, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso,
Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Para, Paraiba, Parana, Pernambuco,
Piaui, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul,
Rondonia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, Tocantins



Independence:


7 September 1822 (from Portugal)



National holiday:


Independence Day, 7 September (1822)



Constitution:


5 October 1988



Legal system:


based on Roman codes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction



Suffrage:


voluntary between 16 and 18 years of age and over 70; compulsory
over 18 and under 70 years of age; note - military conscripts do not
vote



Executive branch:


chief of state: President Luiz Inacio LULA da Silva (since 1 January
2003); Vice President Jose ALENCAR (since 1 January 2003); note -
the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Luiz Inacio LULA da Silva (since 1
January 2003); Vice President Jose ALENCAR (since 1 January 2003)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket
by popular vote for a single four-year term; election last held 1
October 2006 with runoff 29 October 2006 (next to be held 3 October
2010 and, if necessary, 31 October 2010)

election results: Luiz Inacio LULA da Silva (PT) reelected president
- 60.83%, Geraldo ALCKMIN (PSDB) 39.17%



Legislative branch:


bicameral National Congress or Congresso Nacional consists of the
Federal Senate or Senado Federal (81 seats; 3 members from each
state and federal district elected according to the principle of
majority to serve eight-year terms; one-third and two-thirds elected
every four years, alternately) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara
dos Deputados (513 seats; members are elected by proportional
representation to serve four-year terms)

elections: Federal Senate - last held 1 October 2006 for one-third
of the Senate (next to be held in October 2010 for two-thirds of the
Senate); Chamber of Deputies - last held 1 October 2006 (next to be
held in October 2010)

election results: Federal Senate - percent of vote by party - NA;
seats by party - PFL 6, PSDB 5, PMDB 4, PTB 3, PT 2, PDT 1, PSB 1,
PL 1, PPS 1, PRTB 1, PP 1, PCdoB 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of
vote by party - NA; seats by party - PMDB 89, PT 83, PFL 65, PSDB
65, PP 42, PSB 27, PDT 24, PL 23, PTB 22, PPS 21, PCdoB 13, PV 13,
PSC 9, other 17; note - as of 1 January 2009, the composition of the
entire legislature is as follows: Federal Senate - seats by party -
PMDB 21, DEM (formerly PFL) 12, PSDB 13, PT 12, PTB 7, PDT 5, PR 4,
PSB 2, PCdoB 1, PRB 1, PP 1, PSC 1, PSOL 1; Chamber of Deputies -
seats by party - PMDB 95, PT 79, PSDB 59, DEM (formerly PFL) 53, PR
44, PP 40, PSB 29, PDT 25, PTB 19, PPS 14, PV 14, PCdoB 13, PSC 11,
PMN 5, PRB 4, PHS 3, PSOL 3, PTC 1, PTdoB 1



Judicial branch:


Supreme Federal Tribunal or STF (11 ministers are appointed for life
by the president and confirmed by the Senate); Higher Tribunal of
Justice; Regional Federal Tribunals (judges are appointed for life);
note - though appointed "for life," judges, like all federal
employees, have a mandatory retirement age of 70



Political parties and leaders:


Brazilian Democratic Movement Party or PMDB [Federal Deputy Michel
TEMER]; Brazilian Labor Party or PTB [Roberto JEFFERSON]; Brazilian
Renewal Labor Party or PRTB [Jose Levy FIDELIX da Cruz]; Brazilian
Republican Party or PRB [Vitor Paulo Araujo DOS SANTOS]; Brazilian
Social Democracy Party or PSDB [Senator Sergio GUERRA]; Brazilian
Socialist Party or PSB [Governor Eduardo Henrique Accioly CAMPOS];
Christian Labor Party or PTC [Daniel TOURINHO]; Communist Party of
Brazil or PCdoB [Jose Renato RABELO]; Democratic Labor Party or PDT
[Carlos Roberto LUPI]; the Democrats or DEM (formerly Liberal Front
Party or PFL) [Federal Deputy Rodrigo MAIA]; Freedom and Socialism
Party or PSOL [Heloisa HELENA]; Green Party or PV [Jose Luiz de
Franca PENNA]; Humanist Party of Solidarity or PHS [Paulo Roberto
MATOS]; Labor Party of Brazil or PTdoB [Luis Henrique de Oliveira
RESENDE]; Liberal Front Party or PFL (now known as the Democrats or
DEM); National Mobilization Party or PMN [Oscar Noronha FILHO];
Party of the Republic or PR [Sergio TAMER]; Popular Socialist Party
or PPS [Federal Deputy Fernando CORUJA]; Progressive Party or PP
[Francisco DORNELLES]; Social Christian Party or PSC [Vitor Jorge
Abdala NOSSEIS]; Workers' Party or PT [Ricardo Jose Ribeiro BERZOINI]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Landless Workers' Movement or MST

other: labor unions and federations; large farmers' associations;
religious groups including evangelical Christian churches and the
Catholic Church



International organization participation:


AfDB (nonregional member), BIS, CAN (associate), CPLP, FAO, G-15,
G-20, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU,
ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURCAT, MINURSO,
MINUSTAH, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, SICA
(observer), UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union
Latina, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO,
WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar PATRIOTA

chancery: 3006 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 238-2805

FAX: [1] (202) 238-2827

consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami,
New York, San Francisco



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Clifford M. SOBEL

embassy: Avenida das Nacoes, Quadra 801, Lote 3, Distrito Federal
Cep 70403-900, Brasilia

mailing address: Unit 3500, APO AA 34030

telephone: [55] (61) 3312-7000

FAX: [55] (61) 3225-9136

consulate(s) general: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo

consulate(s): Recife



Flag description:


green with a large yellow diamond in the center bearing a blue
celestial globe with 27 white five-pointed stars (one for each state
and the Federal District) arranged in the same pattern as the night
sky over Brazil; the globe has a white equatorial band with the
motto ORDEM E PROGRESSO (Order and Progress)







Economy ::Brazil




Economy - overview:


Characterized by large and well-developed agricultural, mining,
manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil's economy outweighs that
of all other South American countries and Brazil is expanding its
presence in world markets. From 2003 to 2007, Brazil ran record
trade surpluses and recorded its first current account surpluses
since 1992. Productivity gains coupled with high commodity prices
contributed to the surge in exports. Brazil improved its debt
profile in 2006 by shifting its debt burden toward real denominated
and domestically held instruments. LULA da Silva restated his
commitment to fiscal responsibility by maintaining the country's
primary surplus during the 2006 election. Following his second
inauguration in October of that year, LULA da Silva announced a
package of further economic reforms to reduce taxes and increase
investment in infrastructure. Brazil's debt achieved investment
grade status early in 2008, but the government's attempt to achieve
strong growth while reducing the debt burden created inflationary
pressures. For most of 2008, the Central Bank embarked on a
restrictive monetary policy to stem these pressures. Since the onset
of the global financial crisis in September, Brazil's currency and
its stock market - Bovespa - have significantly lost value, -41% for
Bovespa for the year ending 30 December 2008. Brazil incurred
another current account deficit in 2008, as world demand and prices
for commodities dropped in the second-half of the year.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$1.998 trillion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10
$1.901 trillion (2007 est.)

$1.798 trillion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$1.573 trillion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


5.1% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
5.7% (2007 est.)

4% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$10,200 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
$9,800 (2007 est.)

$9,400 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 6.7%

industry: 28%

services: 65.3% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


93.65 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 20%

industry: 14%

services: 66% (2003 est.)



Unemployment rate:


7.9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
9.3% (2007 est.)



Population below poverty line:


31% (2005)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 1.1%

highest 10%: 43% (2007)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


56.7 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 10
60.7 (1998)



Investment (gross fixed):


19% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123


Budget:


revenues: NA

expenditures: NA



Public debt:


38.8% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58
52% of GDP (2004 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


5.7% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
3.6% (2007 est.)



Central bank discount rate:


20.48% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 9
17.85% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


47.25% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 4
43.72% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$95.03 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 12
$131.1 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$724.5 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 6
$792.8 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$1.249 trillion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 11
$1.377 trillion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$589.4 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 12
$1.37 trillion (31 December 2007)

$711.1 billion (31 December 2006)



Agriculture - products:


coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus; beef



Industries:


textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel,
aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment



Industrial production growth rate:


4.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62


Electricity - production:


438.8 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11


Electricity - consumption:


404.3 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10


Electricity - exports:


2.034 billion kWh (2007 est.)



Electricity - imports:


42.06 billion kWh; note - supplied by Paraguay (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


2.422 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13


Oil - consumption:


2.52 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8


Oil - exports:


570,100 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27


Oil - imports:


632,900 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21


Oil - proved reserves:


12.62 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15


Natural gas - production:


12.62 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39


Natural gas - consumption:


23.65 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 200


Natural gas - imports:


11.03 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21


Natural gas - proved reserves:


365 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36


Current account balance:


-$28.19 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
$1.551 billion (2007 est.)



Exports:


$197.9 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
$160.6 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


transport equipment, iron ore, soybeans, footwear, coffee, autos



Exports - partners:


US 14.4%, China 12.4%, Argentina 8.4%, Netherlands 5%, Germany 4.5%
(2008)



Imports:


$173.1 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
$120.6 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


machinery, electrical and transport equipment, chemical products,
oil, automotive parts, electronics



Imports - partners:


US 14.9%, China 11.6%, Argentina 7.9%, Germany 7% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$193.8 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7
$180.3 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$262.9 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 27
$240.5 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:


$294 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
$248.9 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:


$127.5 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
$107.1 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Exchange rates:


reals (BRL) per US dollar - 1.8644 (2008 est.), 1.85 (2007 est.),
2.1761 (2006), 2.4344 (2005), 2.9251 (2004)







Communications ::Brazil




Telephones - main lines in use:


41.141 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 6


Telephones - mobile cellular:


150.641 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 5


Telephone system:


general assessment: good working system; fixed-line connections have
remained relatively stable in recent years and stand at about 20 per
100 persons; less expensive mobile cellular technology is a major
driver in expanding telephone service to the low-income segment of
the population with mobile-cellular telephone density reaching 80
per 100 persons

domestic: extensive microwave radio relay system and a domestic
satellite system with 64 earth stations; mobile-cellular usage has
more than tripled in the past 5 years

international: country code - 55; landing point for a number of
submarine cables, including Atlantis 2, that provide direct links to
South and Central America, the Caribbean, the US, Africa, and
Europe; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1
Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region east), connected by microwave relay
system to Mercosur Brazilsat B3 satellite earth station (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 1,365, FM 296, shortwave 161 (of which 91 are collocated with AM
stations) (1999)



Television broadcast stations:


138 (1997)



Internet country code:


.br



Internet hosts:


15.929 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 5


Internet users:


64.948 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 5






Transportation ::Brazil




Airports:


4,000 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 2


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 721

over 3,047 m: 7

2,438 to 3,047 m: 27

1,524 to 2,437 m: 171

914 to 1,523 m: 460

under 914 m: 56 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 3,279

1,524 to 2,437 m: 87

914 to 1,523 m: 1,547

under 914 m: 1,645 (2009)



Heliports:


13 (2009)



Pipelines:


condensate/gas 62 km; gas 9,892 km; liquid petroleum gas 353 km; oil
4,517 km; refined products 4,465 km (2008)



Railways:


total: 28,857 km
country comparison to the world: 10
broad gauge: 5,709 km 1.600-m gauge (459 km electrified)

standard gauge: 194 km 1.440-m gauge

narrow gauge: 22,954 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)



Roadways:


total: 1,751,868 km
country comparison to the world: 4
paved: 96,353 km

unpaved: 1,655,515 km (2004)



Waterways:


50,000 km (most in areas remote from industry and population) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 3


Merchant marine:


total: 136
country comparison to the world: 45
by type: bulk carrier 19, cargo 22, carrier 1, chemical tanker 7,
container 11, liquefied gas 12, passenger/cargo 12, petroleum tanker
45, roll on/roll off 7

foreign-owned: 25 (Chile 1, Denmark 2, Germany 6, Greece 1, Mexico
1, Norway 5, Spain 9)

registered in other countries: 8 (Argentina 1, Bahamas 2, Ghana 1,
Liberia 3, Marshall Islands 1) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Guaiba, Ilha Grande, Paranagua, Rio Grande, Santos, Sao Sebastiao,
Tubarao



Transportation - note:


the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and
offshore waters in the Atlantic Ocean as a significant risk for
piracy and armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels
have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway;
crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen







Military ::Brazil




Military branches:


Brazilian Army (Exercito Brasileiro, EB), Brazilian Navy (Marinha do
Brasil (MB), includes Naval Air and Marine Corps (Corpo de
Fuzileiros Navais)), Brazilian Air Force (Forca Aerea Brasileira,
FAB) (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


21-45 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript
service obligation - 9 to 12 months; 17-45 years of age for
voluntary service; an increasing percentage of the ranks are
"long-service" volunteer professionals; women were allowed to serve
in the armed forces beginning in early 1980s when the Brazilian Army
became the first army in South America to accept women into career
ranks; women serve in Navy and Air Force only in Women's Reserve
Corps (2001)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 52,449,957

females age 16-49: 52,375,921 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 38,043,555

females age 16-49: 44,267,520 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 1,690,031

female: 1,630,851 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


2.6% of GDP (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62






Transnational Issues ::Brazil




Disputes - international:


unruly region at convergence of Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay borders is
locus of money laundering, smuggling, arms and illegal narcotics
trafficking, and fundraising for extremist organizations;
uncontested boundary dispute with Uruguay over Isla Brasilera at the
confluence of the Quarai/Cuareim and Invernada rivers, that form a
tripoint with Argentina; the Itaipu Dam reservoir covers over a once
contested section of Brazil-Paraguay boundary west of Guaira Falls
on the Rio Parana; an accord placed the long-disputed Isla
Suarez/Ilha de Guajara-Mirim, a fluvial island on the Rio Mamore,
under Bolivian administration in 1958, but sovereignty remains in
dispute



Illicit drugs:


second-largest consumer of cocaine in the world; illicit producer of
cannabis; trace amounts of coca cultivation in the Amazon region,
used for domestic consumption; government has a large-scale
eradication program to control cannabis; important transshipment
country for Bolivian, Colombian, and Peruvian cocaine headed for
Europe; also used by traffickers as a way station for narcotics air
transshipments between Peru and Colombia; upsurge in drug-related
violence and weapons smuggling; important market for Colombian,
Bolivian, and Peruvian cocaine; illicit narcotics proceeds are often
laundered through the financial system; significant illicit
financial activity in the Tri-Border Area (2008)









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@British Indian Ocean Territory  (South Asia)

Introduction ::British Indian Ocean Territory




Background:


Formerly administered as part of the British Crown Colony of
Mauritius, the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) was established
as an overseas territory of the UK in 1965. A number of the islands
of the territory were later transferred to the Seychelles when it
attained independence in 1976. Subsequently, BIOT has consisted only
of the six main island groups comprising the Chagos Archipelago. The
largest and most southerly of the islands, Diego Garcia, contains a
joint UK-US naval support facility. All of the remaining islands are
uninhabited. Between 1967 and 1973, former agricultural workers,
earlier residents in the islands, were relocated primarily to
Mauritius, but also to the Seychelles. Negotiations between 1971 and
1982 resulted in the establishment of a trust fund by the British
Government as compensation for the displaced islanders, known as
Chagossians. Beginning in 1998, the islanders pursued a series of
lawsuits against the British Government seeking further compensation
and the right to return to the territory. In 2006 and 2007, British
court rulings invalidated the immigration policies contained in the
2004 BIOT Constitution Order that had excluded the islanders from
the archipelago, but upheld the special military status of Diego
Garcia. In 2008, the House of Lords, as the final court of appeal in
the UK, ruled in favor of the British Government by overturning the
lower court rulings and finding no right of return on the part of
the Chagossians.







Geography ::British Indian Ocean Territory




Location:


archipelago in the Indian Ocean, south of India, about halfway
between Africa and Indonesia



Geographic coordinates:


6 00 S, 71 30 E; note - Diego Garcia 7 20 S, 72 25 E



Map references:


Political Map of the World



Area:


total: 54,400 sq km
country comparison to the world: 127
land: 60 sq km; Diego Garcia 44 sq km

water: 54,340 sq km

note: includes the entire Chagos Archipelago of 55 islands



Area - comparative:


land area is about 0.3 times the size of Washington, DC



Land boundaries:


0 km



Coastline:


698 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 3 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm



Climate:


tropical marine; hot, humid, moderated by trade winds



Terrain:


flat and low (most areas do not exceed two meters in elevation)



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: unnamed location on Diego Garcia 15 m



Natural resources:


coconuts, fish, sugarcane



Land use:


arable land: 0%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 100% (2005)



Irrigated land:


0 sq km



Natural hazards:


NA



Environment - current issues:


NA



Geography - note:


archipelago of 55 islands; Diego Garcia, largest and southernmost
island, occupies strategic location in central Indian Ocean; island
is site of joint US-UK military facility







People ::British Indian Ocean Territory




Population:


no indigenous inhabitants

note: approximately 1,200 former agricultural workers resident in
the Chagos Archipelago, often referred to as Chagossians or Ilois,
were relocated to Mauritius and the Seychelles in the 1960s and
1970s; in November 2004, approximately 4,000 UK and US military
personnel and civilian contractors were living on the island of
Diego Garcia







Government ::British Indian Ocean Territory




Country name:


conventional long form: British Indian Ocean Territory

conventional short form: none

abbreviation: BIOT



Dependency status:


overseas territory of the UK; administered by a commissioner,
resident in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London



Legal system:


the laws of the UK, where applicable, apply



Executive branch:


chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)

head of government: Commissioner Colin ROBERTS (since July 2008);
Administrator Joanne YEADON (since December 2007); note - both
reside in the UK and are represented by the officer commanding
British Forces on Diego Garcia

cabinet: NA

elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; commissioner and
administrator appointed by the monarch



Diplomatic representation in the US:


none (overseas territory of the UK)



Diplomatic representation from the US:


none (overseas territory of the UK)



Flag description:


white with six blue wavy horizontal stripes; the flag of the UK is
in the upper hoist-side quadrant; the striped section bears a palm
tree and yellow crown centered on the outer half of the flag







Economy ::British Indian Ocean Territory




Economy - overview:


All economic activity is concentrated on the largest island of Diego
Garcia, where a joint UK-US military facility is located.
Construction projects and various services needed to support the
military installation are performed by military and contract
employees from the UK, Mauritius, the Philippines, and the US. There
are no industrial or agricultural activities on the islands. The
territory earns foreign exchange by selling fishing licenses and
postage stamps.



Electricity - production:


NA kWh; note - electricity supplied by the US military



Electricity - consumption:


NA kWh



Exchange rates:


the US dollar is used







Communications ::British Indian Ocean Territory




Telephones - main lines in use:


NA



Telephone system:


general assessment: separate facilities for military and public
needs are available

domestic: all commercial telephone services are available, including
connection to the Internet

international: country code (Diego Garcia) - 246; international
telephone service is carried by satellite (2000)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)



Television broadcast stations:


1 (1997)



Internet country code:


.io



Internet hosts:


160 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 194






Transportation ::British Indian Ocean Territory




Airports:


1 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 225


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 1

over 3,047 m: 1 (2009)



Roadways:


note: short section of paved road between port and airfield on Diego
Garcia



Ports and terminals:


Diego Garcia







Military ::British Indian Ocean Territory




Military branches:


no regular military forces; Royal Overseas Police Officers (ROPOs)
(2008)



Military - note:


defense is the responsibility of the UK; the US lease on Diego
Garcia expires in 2016







Transnational Issues ::British Indian Ocean Territory




Disputes - international:


Mauritius claims the Chagos Archipelago including Diego Garcia; in
2001, the former inhabitants of the Chagos Archipelago, evicted in
1967 and 1973 and now residing chiefly in Mauritius, were granted UK
citizenship and the right to repatriation; in May 2007, the UK Court
of Appeals upheld the May 2006 High Court of London judgment
reversing the UK government's 2004 Orders of Council that banned
habitation on the islands; a small group of Chagossians visited
Diego Garcia in April 2006; repatriation is complicated by the
exclusive US military lease of Diego Garcia that restricts access to
the largest viable island in the chain









page last updated on October 28, 2009

======================================================================




@British Virgin Islands  (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::British Virgin Islands




Background:


First inhabited by Arawak and later by Carib Indians, the Virgin
Islands were settled by the Dutch in 1648 and then annexed by the
English in 1672. The islands were part of the British colony of the
Leeward Islands from 1872-1960; they were granted autonomy in 1967.
The economy is closely tied to the larger and more populous US
Virgin Islands to the west; the US dollar is the legal currency.







Geography ::British Virgin Islands




Location:


Caribbean, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean,
east of Puerto Rico



Geographic coordinates:


18 30 N, 64 30 W



Map references:


Central America and the Caribbean



Area:


total: 151 sq km
country comparison to the world: 219
land: 151 sq km

water: 0 sq km

note: comprised of 16 inhabited and more than 20 uninhabited
islands; includes the islands of Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda,
Jost van Dyke



Area - comparative:


about 0.9 times the size of Washington, DC



Land boundaries:


0 km



Coastline:


80 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 3 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm



Climate:


subtropical; humid; temperatures moderated by trade winds



Terrain:


coral islands relatively flat; volcanic islands steep, hilly



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: Mount Sage 521 m



Natural resources:


NEGL



Land use:


arable land: 20%

permanent crops: 6.67%

other: 73.33% (2005)



Irrigated land:


NA



Natural hazards:


hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October)



Environment - current issues:


limited natural fresh water resources (except for a few seasonal
streams and springs on Tortola, most of the islands' water supply
comes from wells and rainwater catchments)



Geography - note:


strong ties to nearby US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico







People ::British Virgin Islands




Population:


24,491 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 215


Age structure:


0-14 years: 19.8% (male 2,454/female 2,387)

15-64 years: 74.4% (male 9,346/female 8,881)

65 years and over: 5.8% (male 734/female 689) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 32.3 years

male: 32.4 years

female: 32.2 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


1.837% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71


Birth rate:


14.62 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144


Death rate:


4.37 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 203


Net migration rate:


8.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11


Urbanization:


urban population: 40% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.06 male(s)/female

total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 14.65 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 129
male: 16.61 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 12.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 77.26 years
country comparison to the world: 58
male: 76.03 years

female: 78.55 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.71 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


NA



HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


NA



HIV/AIDS - deaths:


NA



Nationality:


noun: British Virgin Islander(s)

adjective: British Virgin Islander



Ethnic groups:


black 83.4%, white 7%, other 9.6% (includes Indian and mixed) (2004
Census)



Religions:


Protestant 86% (Methodist 33%, Anglican 17%, Church of God 9%,
Seventh-Day Adventist 6%, Baptist 4%, Jehovah's Witnesses 2%, other
15%), Roman Catholic 10%, other 2%, none 2% (1991)



Languages:


English (official)



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97.8% (1991 est.)

male: NA

female: NA



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 17 years

male: 15 years

female: 19 years (2005)



Education expenditures:


3.7% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 123






Government ::British Virgin Islands




Country name:


conventional long form: none

conventional short form: British Virgin Islands

abbreviation: BVI



Dependency status:


overseas territory of the UK; internal self-governing



Government type:


NA



Capital:


name: Road Town

geographic coordinates: 18 27 N, 64 37 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)



Administrative divisions:


none (overseas territory of the UK)



Independence:


none (overseas territory of the UK)



National holiday:


Territory Day, 1 July (1956)



Constitution:


13 June 2007



Legal system:


English law



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor David PEAREY (since 18 April 2006)

head of government: Premier Ralph T. O'NEAL (since 23 August 2007)

cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor from members of
the House of Assembly

elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the
monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority
party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed
premier by the governor



Legislative branch:


unicameral House of Assembly (13 elected seats and 1 non-voting ex
officio member in the attorney general; members are elected by
direct popular vote, 1 member from each of nine electoral districts,
4 at-large members; members serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 20 August 2007 (next to be held in 2011)

election results: percent of vote by party - VIP 45.2%, NDP 39.6%,
independent 15.2%; seats by party - VIP 10, NDP 2, independent 1



Judicial branch:


Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, consisting of the High Court of
Justice and the Court of Appeal (one judge of the Supreme Court is a
resident of the islands and presides over the High Court);
Magistrate's Court; Juvenile Court; Court of Summary Jurisdiction



Political parties and leaders:


Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Ethlyn SMITH]; National
Democratic Party or NDP [Orlando SMITH]; United Party or UP [Gregory
MADURO]; Virgin Islands Party or VIP [Ralph T. O'NEAL]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


The Family Support Network; The Women's Desk

other: environmentalists



International organization participation:


Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, OECS, UNESCO
(associate), UPU, WFTU



Diplomatic representation in the US:


none (overseas territory of the UK)



Diplomatic representation from the US:


none (overseas territory of the UK)



Flag description:


blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and
the Virgin Islander coat of arms centered in the outer half of the
flag; the coat of arms depicts a woman flanked on either side by a
vertical column of six oil lamps above a scroll bearing the Latin
word VIGILATE (Be Watchful)







Economy ::British Virgin Islands




Economy - overview:


The economy, one of the most stable and prosperous in the Caribbean,
is highly dependent on tourism generating an estimated 45% of the
national income. An estimated 820,000 tourists, mainly from the US,
visited the islands in 2005. In the mid-1980s, the government began
offering offshore registration to companies wishing to incorporate
in the islands, and incorporation fees now generate substantial
revenues. Roughly 400,000 companies were on the offshore registry by
yearend 2000. The adoption of a comprehensive insurance law in late
1994, which provides a blanket of confidentiality with regulated
statutory gateways for investigation of criminal offenses, made the
British Virgin Islands even more attractive to international
business. Livestock raising is the most important agricultural
activity; poor soils limit the islands' ability to meet domestic
food requirements. Because of traditionally close links with the US
Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands has used the US dollar as
its currency since 1959.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$853.4 million (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206


GDP (official exchange rate):


$839.7 million (2003)



GDP - real growth rate:


1% (2002 est.)
country comparison to the world: 176


GDP - per capita (PPP):


$38,500 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23


GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 1.8%

industry: 6.2%

services: 92% (1996 est.)



Labor force:


12,770 (2004)
country comparison to the world: 206


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 0.6%

industry: 40%

services: 59.4% (2005)



Unemployment rate:


3.6% (1997)
country comparison to the world: 43


Population below poverty line:


NA%



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%



Budget:


revenues: $204.7 million

expenditures: $180.4 million (2004)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


2% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 17


Agriculture - products:


fruits, vegetables; livestock, poultry; fish



Industries:


tourism, light industry, construction, rum, concrete block, offshore
financial center



Industrial production growth rate:


NA%



Electricity - production:


45 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198


Electricity - consumption:


41.85 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124


Oil - consumption:


1,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189


Oil - exports:


0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157


Oil - imports:


691.4 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194


Oil - proved reserves:


0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118


Natural gas - production:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116


Natural gas - consumption:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 92


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117


Natural gas - proved reserves:


0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123


Current account balance:


$134.3 million (1999)
country comparison to the world: 55


Exports:


$25.3 million (2002)
country comparison to the world: 202
$25.3 million (2002)



Exports - commodities:


rum, fresh fish, fruits, animals; gravel, sand



Imports:


$187 million f.o.b.



Imports - commodities:


building materials, automobiles, foodstuffs, machinery



Debt - external:


$36.1 million (1997)
country comparison to the world: 194


Exchange rates:


the US dollar is used







Communications ::British Virgin Islands




Telephones - main lines in use:


18,900 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 196


Telephones - mobile cellular:


23,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 204


Telephone system:


general assessment: worldwide telephone service

domestic: fixed line connections exceed 75 per 100 persons and
mobile cellular subscribership is approaching 100 per 100 persons

international: country code - 1-284; connected via submarine cable
to Bermuda; the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable
provides connectivity to 13 other islands in the eastern Caribbean
(2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 0 (2004)



Television broadcast stations:


1 (plus 1 cable company) (1997)



Internet country code:


.vg



Internet hosts:


581 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 169


Internet users:


4,000 (2002)
country comparison to the world: 206






Transportation ::British Virgin Islands




Airports:


4 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 185


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2009)



Roadways:


total: 200 km
country comparison to the world: 206
paved: 200 km (2007)



Merchant marine:


registered in other countries: 1 (Panama 1) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 153


Ports and terminals:


Road Town







Military ::British Virgin Islands




Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 7,101 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 5,979

females age 16-49: 5,738 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 178

female: 173 (2009 est.)



Military - note:


defense is the responsibility of the UK







Transnational Issues ::British Virgin Islands




Disputes - international:


none



Illicit drugs:


transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US
and Europe; large offshore financial center makes it vulnerable to
money laundering









page last updated on October 28, 2009

======================================================================




@Brunei  (East & Southeast Asia)

Introduction ::Brunei




Background:


The Sultanate of Brunei's influence peaked between the 15th and 17th
centuries when its control extended over coastal areas of northwest
Borneo and the southern Philippines. Brunei subsequently entered a
period of decline brought on by internal strife over royal
succession, colonial expansion of European powers, and piracy. In
1888, Brunei became a British protectorate; independence was
achieved in 1984. The same family has ruled Brunei for over six
centuries. Brunei benefits from extensive petroleum and natural gas
fields, the source of one of the highest per capita GDPs in Asia.







Geography ::Brunei




Location:


Southeastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and Malaysia



Geographic coordinates:


4 30 N, 114 40 E



Map references:


Southeast Asia



Area:


total: 5,765 sq km
country comparison to the world: 172
land: 5,265 sq km

water: 500 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than Delaware



Land boundaries:


total: 381 km

border countries: Malaysia 381 km



Coastline:


161 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm or to median line



Climate:


tropical; hot, humid, rainy



Terrain:


flat coastal plain rises to mountains in east; hilly lowland in west



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: South China Sea 0 m

highest point: Bukit Pagon 1,850 m



Natural resources:


petroleum, natural gas, timber



Land use:


arable land: 2.08%

permanent crops: 0.87%

other: 97.05% (2005)



Irrigated land:


10 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


8.5 cu km (1999)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 0.09

per capita: 243 cu m/yr (1994)



Natural hazards:


typhoons, earthquakes, and severe flooding are rare



Environment - current issues:


seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection,
Ship Pollution

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


close to vital sea lanes through South China Sea linking Indian and
Pacific Oceans; two parts physically separated by Malaysia; almost
an enclave within Malaysia







People ::Brunei




Population:


388,190 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175


Age structure:


0-14 years: 26.6% (male 53,282/female 50,141)

15-64 years: 70.1% (male 135,640/female 136,292)

65 years and over: 3.3% (male 6,199/female 6,636) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 27.8 years

male: 27.7 years

female: 27.8 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


1.759% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76


Birth rate:


18.2 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112


Death rate:


3.29 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 216


Net migration rate:


2.69 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32


Urbanization:


urban population: 75% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2.6% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 12.27 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 144
male: 14.68 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 9.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 75.74 years
country comparison to the world: 74
male: 73.52 years

female: 78.07 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.91 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125


Nationality:


noun: Bruneian(s)

adjective: Bruneian



Ethnic groups:


Malay 66.3%, Chinese 11.2%, indigenous 3.4%, other 19.1% (2004 est.)



Religions:


Muslim (official) 67%, Buddhist 13%, Christian 10%, other (includes
indigenous beliefs) 10%



Languages:


Malay (official), English, Chinese



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 92.7%

male: 95.2%

female: 90.2% (2001 census)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 14 years (2006)



Education expenditures:


5.2% of GDP (2000)
country comparison to the world: 59






Government ::Brunei




Country name:


conventional long form: Brunei Darussalam

conventional short form: Brunei

local long form: Negara Brunei Darussalam

local short form: Brunei



Government type:


constitutional sultanate



Capital:


name: Bandar Seri Begawan

geographic coordinates: 4 53 N, 114 56 E

time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)



Administrative divisions:


4 districts (daerah-daerah, singular - daerah); Belait,
Brunei-Muara, Temburong, Tutong



Independence:


1 January 1984 (from the UK)



National holiday:


National Day, 23 February (1984); note - 1 January 1984 was the date
of independence from the UK, 23 February 1984 was the date of
independence from British protection



Constitution:


29 September 1959 (some provisions suspended under a State of
Emergency since December 1962, others since independence on 1
January 1984)



Legal system:


based on English common law; for Muslims, Islamic Sharia law
supersedes civil law in a number of areas; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age for village elections; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah
(since 5 October 1967); note - the monarch is both the chief of
state and head of government

head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah
(since 5 October 1967)

cabinet: Council of Cabinet Ministers appointed and presided over by
the monarch; deals with executive matters; note - there is also a
Religious Council (members appointed by the monarch) that advises on
religious matters, a Privy Council (members appointed by the
monarch) that deals with constitutional matters, and the Council of
Succession (members appointed by the monarch) that determines the
succession to the throne if the need arises

elections: none; the monarch is hereditary



Legislative branch:


The Sultan appointed a council with 29 members as of 2 September
2005; the council has met in March of each year since then

elections: last held in March 1962 (date of next election NA)

note: The Legislative Council met on 25 September 2004 for first
time in 20 years with 21 members appointed by the Sultan; it passed
constitutional amendments calling for a 45-seat council with 15
elected members



Judicial branch:


Supreme Court - chief justice and judges are sworn in by monarch for
three-year terms; Judicial Committee of Privy Council in London is
final court of appeal for civil cases; Sharia courts deal with
Islamic laws (2006)



Political parties and leaders:


National Development Party or NDP [YASSIN Affendi]

note: Brunei National Solidarity Party or PPKB [Abdul LATIF bin
Chuchu] and People's Awareness Party or PAKAR [Awang Haji MAIDIN bin
Haji Ahmad] were deregistered; parties are small and have limited
activity



Political pressure groups and leaders:


NA



International organization participation:


ADB, APEC, APT, ARF, ASEAN, C, EAS, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDB,
IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent),
ITSO, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO,
WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Angela SHIM

chancery: 3520 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 237-1838

FAX: [1] (202) 885-0560



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador William E. TODD

embassy: Third Floor, Teck Guan Plaza, Jalan Sultan, Bandar Seri
Begawan, BS8811

mailing address: PSC 470 (BSB), FPO AP 96507; P.O. Box 2991, Bandar
Seri Begawan BS8675, Negara Brunei Darussalam

telephone: [673] 222-0384

FAX: [673] 222-5293



Flag description:


yellow with two diagonal bands of white (top, almost double width)
and black starting from the upper hoist side; the national emblem in
red is superimposed at the center; the emblem includes a
swallow-tailed flag on top of a winged column within an upturned
crescent above a scroll and flanked by two upraised hands







Economy ::Brunei




Economy - overview:


Brunei has a small well-to-do economy that encompasses a mixture of
foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation,
welfare measures, and village tradition. Crude oil and natural gas
production account for just over half of GDP and more than 90% of
exports. Per capita GDP is among the highest in Asia, and
substantial income from overseas investment supplements income from
domestic production. The government provides for all medical
services and free education through the university level and
subsidizes rice and housing. Brunei's leaders are concerned that
steadily increased integration into the world economy will undermine
internal social cohesion. Plans for the future include upgrading the
labor force, reducing unemployment, strengthening the banking and
tourist sectors, increasing agricultural production, and, in
general, further widening the economic base beyond oil and gas.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$19.58 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
$19.96 billion (2007 est.)

$19.92 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$14.55 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


-1.9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 211
0.2% (2007 est.)

4.4% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$51,300 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
$53,300 (2007 est.)

$54,200 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 0.7%

industry: 75%

services: 25% (2005 est.)



Labor force:


188,800 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 4.5%

industry: 63.1%

services: 32.4% (2003 est.)



Unemployment rate:


3.7% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 44
4% (2006)



Population below poverty line:


NA%



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%



Budget:


revenues: $6.889 billion

expenditures: $4 billion (2008 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


0.3% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5


Commercial bank prime lending rate:


5.5% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 139
5.5% (February 2009)



Stock of money:


$3.046 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 63
$2.674 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$4.551 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 72
$4.258 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$1.274 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 104
$2.38 billion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA



Agriculture - products:


rice, vegetables, fruits; chickens, water buffalo, cattle, goats,
eggs



Industries:


petroleum, petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas, construction



Industrial production growth rate:


1.8% (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109


Electricity - production:


3.091 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124


Electricity - consumption:


2.926 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


157,400 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45


Oil - consumption:


15,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137


Oil - exports:


207,500 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55


Oil - imports:


237.6 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202


Oil - proved reserves:


1.1 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38


Natural gas - production:


13.4 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36


Natural gas - consumption:


4.2 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65


Natural gas - exports:


9.2 billion cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 22


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 199


Natural gas - proved reserves:


390.8 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34


Current account balance:


$7.101 billion (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27


Exports:


$8.25 billion (2007)
country comparison to the world: 93
$6.767 billion (2006)



Exports - commodities:


crude oil, natural gas, garments



Exports - partners:


Japan 40.8%, Indonesia 21.6%, South Korea 15.4%, Australia 10% (2008)



Imports:


$2.055 billion (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
$2 billion (2006 est.)



Imports - commodities:


machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food,
chemicals



Imports - partners:


Singapore 36.5%, Malaysia 19%, Japan 7.7%, China 5.5%, Thailand 5%,
US 4.7%, UK 4.7% (2008)



Debt - external:


$0 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 202


Exchange rates:


Bruneian dollars (BND) per US dollar - NA (2007), 1.5886 (2006),
1.6644 (2005), 1.6902 (2004), 1.7422 (2003)







Communications ::Brunei




Telephones - main lines in use:


76,600 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 151


Telephones - mobile cellular:


376,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 162


Telephone system:


general assessment: service throughout the country is excellent;
international service is good to Southeast Asia, Middle East,
Western Europe, and the US

domestic: every service available

international: country code - 673; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3
optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to
Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; the Asia-America Gateway
submarine cable network, scheduled for completion by late 2008, will
provide new links to Asia and the US; satellite earth stations - 2
Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) (2007)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 1, FM 2 (transmitting on 18 different frequencies), shortwave 0
(British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) station transmits two FM
signals with English and Nepali service) (2006)



Television broadcast stations:


4 (includes 2 UHF stations broadcasting a subscription service)
(2006)



Internet country code:


.bn



Internet hosts:


14,978 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 108


Internet users:


217,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 133






Transportation ::Brunei




Airports:


2 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 210


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 2

over 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2009)



Heliports:


3 (2009)



Pipelines:


gas 37 km; oil 18 km (2008)



Roadways:


total: 3,650 km
country comparison to the world: 159
paved: 2,819 km

unpaved: 831 km (2005)



Waterways:


209 km (navigable by craft drawing less than 1.2 m) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 97


Merchant marine:


total: 8
country comparison to the world: 119
by type: liquefied gas 8

foreign-owned: 1 (UK 1) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Lumut, Muara, Seria







Military ::Brunei




Military branches:


Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF): Royal Brunei Land Forces, Royal
Brunei Navy, Royal Brunei Air Force (Tentera Udara Diraja Brunei)
(2009)



Military service age and obligation:


18 years of age (est.) for voluntary military service; non-Malays
are ineligible to serve (2007)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 108,356

females age 16-49: 110,153 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 92,543

females age 16-49: 95,301 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 3,460

female: 3,399 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


4.5% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 24






Transnational Issues ::Brunei




Disputes - international:


Brunei and Malaysia agreed in September 2008 to resolve their
offshore and deepwater seabed dispute, resume hydrocarbon
exploration, and renounce any territorial claims on land; Brunei
established an exclusive economic fishing zone encompassing Louisa
Reef in the southern Spratly Islands in 1984, but makes no public
territorial claim to the offshore reefs; the 2002 "Declaration on
the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions in
the Spratly Islands but falls short of a legally binding "code of
conduct" desired by several of the disputants



Illicit drugs:


drug trafficking and illegally importing controlled substances are
serious offenses in Brunei and carry a mandatory death penalty









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Bulgaria  (Europe)

Introduction ::Bulgaria




Background:


The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local
Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first
Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with
the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the
end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman
Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of
Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having
fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within
the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in
1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its
first multiparty election since World War II and began the
contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a
market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption,
and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.







Geography ::Bulgaria




Location:


Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and
Turkey



Geographic coordinates:


43 00 N, 25 00 E



Map references:


Europe



Area:


total: 110,879 sq km
country comparison to the world: 104
land: 108,489 sq km

water: 2,390 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly larger than Tennessee



Land boundaries:


total: 1,808 km

border countries: Greece 494 km, Macedonia 148 km, Romania 608 km,
Serbia 318 km, Turkey 240 km



Coastline:


354 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm



Climate:


temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers



Terrain:


mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Black Sea 0 m

highest point: Musala 2,925 m



Natural resources:


bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land



Land use:


arable land: 29.94%

permanent crops: 1.9%

other: 68.16% (2005)



Irrigated land:


5,880 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


19.4 cu km (2005)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 6.92 cu km/yr (3%/78%/19%)

per capita: 895 cu m/yr (2003)



Natural hazards:


earthquakes; landslides



Environment - current issues:


air pollution from industrial emissions; rivers polluted from raw
sewage, heavy metals, detergents; deforestation; forest damage from
air pollution and resulting acid rain; soil contamination from heavy
metals from metallurgical plants and industrial wastes



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85,
Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds,
Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources,
Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping,
Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


strategic location near Turkish Straits; controls key land routes
from Europe to Middle East and Asia







People ::Bulgaria




Population:


7,204,687 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98


Age structure:


0-14 years: 13.8% (male 509,544/female 484,816)

15-64 years: 68.5% (male 2,426,060/female 2,508,772)

65 years and over: 17.7% (male 518,711/female 756,784) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 41.4 years

male: 39.2 years

female: 43.6 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


-0.79% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 231


Birth rate:


9.51 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204


Death rate:


14.31 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22


Net migration rate:


-3.11 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149


Urbanization:


urban population: 71% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: -0.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female

total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 17.87 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 115
male: 21.28 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 14.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 73.09 years
country comparison to the world: 111
male: 69.48 years

female: 76.91 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.41 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


346 (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


100 (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150


Nationality:


noun: Bulgarian(s)

adjective: Bulgarian



Ethnic groups:


Bulgarian 83.9%, Turk 9.4%, Roma 4.7%, other 2% (including
Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian) (2001 census)



Religions:


Bulgarian Orthodox 82.6%, Muslim 12.2%, other Christian 1.2%, other
4% (2001 census)



Languages:


Bulgarian 84.5%, Turkish 9.6%, Roma 4.1%, other and unspecified 1.8%
(2001 census)



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98.2%

male: 98.7%

female: 97.7% (2001 census)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 14 years

male: 13 years

female: 14 years (2006)



Education expenditures:


4.5% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 90






Government ::Bulgaria




Country name:


conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria

conventional short form: Bulgaria

local long form: Republika Balgariya

local short form: Balgariya



Government type:


parliamentary democracy



Capital:


name: Sofia

geographic coordinates: 42 41 N, 23 19 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October



Administrative divisions:


28 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast); Blagoevgrad, Burgas,
Dobrich, Gabrovo, Khaskovo, Kurdzhali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana,
Pazardzhik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Ruse, Shumen,
Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofiya, Sofiya-Grad, Stara Zagora,
Turgovishte, Varna, Veliko Turnovo, Vidin, Vratsa, Yambol



Independence:


3 March 1878 (as an autonomous principality within the Ottoman
Empire); 22 September 1908 (complete independence from the Ottoman
Empire)



National holiday:


Liberation Day, 3 March (1878)



Constitution:


adopted 12 July 1991



Legal system:


civil and criminal law based on Roman law; accepts compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction with reservations



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: President Georgi PARVANOV (since 22 January 2002);
Vice President Angel MARIN (since 22 January 2002)

head of government: Prime Minister Boyko BORISSOV (since 27 July
2009); Deputy Prime Ministers Simeon DJANKOV and Tsvetan TSVETANOV
(since 27 July 2009);

cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and
elected by the National Assembly

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket
by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term);
election last held 22 and 29 October 2006 (next to be held in 2011);
chairman of the Council of Ministers (prime minister) elected by the
National Assembly; deputy prime ministers nominated by the prime
minister and elected by the National Assembly

election results: Georgi PARVANOV reelected president; percent of
vote - Georgi PARVANOV 77.3%, Volen SIDEROV 22.7%; Sergei STANISHEV
elected prime minister, result of legislative vote - 168 to 67



Legislative branch:


unicameral National Assembly or Narodno Sabranie (240 seats; members
elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 5 July 2009 (next to be held mid-2013)

election results: percent of vote by party - GERB 39.7%, BSP 17.7%,
MRF 14.4%, ATAKA 9.4%, Blue Coalition 6.8%, RZS 4.1%, other 7.9%;
seats by party - GERB 116, BSP 40, MRF 38, ATAKA 21, Blue Coalition
15, RZS 10



Judicial branch:


independent judiciary comprised of judges, prosecutors and
investigating magistrates who are appointed, promoted, demoted, and
dismissed by a 25-member Supreme Judicial Council (consists of the
chairmen of the two Supreme Courts, the Chief Prosecutor, and 22
members, half of whom are elected by the National Assembly and the
other half by the bodies of the judiciary for a 5-year term in
office); three levels of case review; 182 courts of which two
Supreme Courts act as the last instance on civil and criminal cases
(the Supreme Court of Cassation) and appeals of government decisions
(the Supreme Administrative Court)



Political parties and leaders:


ATAKA (Attack Coalition) (coalition of parties headed by the Attack
National Union); Attack National Union [Volen SIDEROV]; Agrarian
National Union or ANU [Stefan LICHEV]; Blue Coalition (a coalition
of center-right parties dominated by UDF and DSB); Bulgarian New
Democracy [Borislav RALCHEV]; Bulgarian Socialist Party or BSP
[Sergei STANISHEV]; Citizens for the European Development of
Bulgaria or GERB [Tsvetan TSVETANOV]; Coalition for Bulgaria or CfB
(coalition of parties dominated by BSP) [Sergei STANISHEV];
Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria or DSB [Ivan KOSTOV]; Gergyovden
[Petar STOYANOVICH]; Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization
or IMRO [Krasimir KARAKACHANOV]; Liberal Initiative for Democratic
European Development or LIDER [Khristo KOVACHKI]; Movement for
Rights and Freedoms or MRF [Ahmed DOGAN]; Movement Forward (LIDER,
IMRO, ANU, Gergyovden); National Movement for Stability and Progress
or NDSV [Simeon SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA] (formerly National Movement
Simeon II or NMS2); New Time [Emil KOSHLUKOV]; Order, Law, Justice
or RZS [Yane YANEV]; Union of Democratic Forces or UDF [Martin
DIMITROV]; Union of Free Democrats or UFD [Stefan SOFIYANSKI];
United Agrarians [Anastasia MOZER]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria or CITUB;
Podkrepa Labor Confederation

other: numerous regional, ethnic, and national interest groups with
various agendas



International organization participation:


ACCT, Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB,
EU, FAO, G- 9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO,
IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA,
NAM (guest), NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SECI,
UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU
(associate affiliate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Latchezar PETKOV

chancery: 1621 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 387-0174

FAX: [1] (202) 234-7973

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Nancy McELDOWNEY

embassy: 16 Kozyak Street, Sofia 1407

mailing address: American Embassy Sofia, US Department of State,
5740 Sofia Place, Washington, DC 20521-5740

telephone: [359] (2) 937-5100

FAX: [359] (2) 937-5320



Flag description:


three equal horizontal bands of white (top), green, and red

note: the national emblem, formerly on the hoist side of the white
stripe, has been removed







Economy ::Bulgaria




Economy - overview:


Bulgaria, a former Communist country that entered the EU on 1
January 2007, has experienced strong growth since a major economic
downturn in 1996. Successive governments have demonstrated a
commitment to economic reforms and responsible fiscal planning, but
have failed so far to rein in rising inflation and large current
account deficits. Bulgaria has averaged more than 6% growth since
2004, attracting significant amounts of foreign direct investment,
but corruption in the public administration, a weak judiciary, and
the presence of organized crime remain significant challenges.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$93.98 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
$88.66 billion (2007 est.)

$83.48 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$49.9 billion (2008)



GDP - real growth rate:


6% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59
6.2% (2007 est.)

6.3% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$12,900 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
$12,100 (2007 est.)

$11,300 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 7.3%

industry: 30.5%

services: 62.2% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


2.67 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107


Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 7.5%

industry: 35.5%

services: 57% (2007 est.)



Unemployment rate:


6.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
7.7% (2007 est.)



Population below poverty line:


14.1% (2003 est.)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 3%

highest 10%: 25.5% (2007)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


30.7 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 109
26.4 (2001)



Investment (gross fixed):


33.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11


Budget:


revenues: $22.24 billion

expenditures: $20.74 billion (2008 est.)



Public debt:


14.1% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
41.9% of GDP (2004 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


12.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171
9.8% (2007 est.)



Central bank discount rate:


5.77% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 111
4.58% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


10.86% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 85
10% (31 December 2007)



Stock of money:


$14.29 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 40
$15.58 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$19.67 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 42
$17.03 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$32.04 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 52
$25.18 billion (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$8.858 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 68
$21.79 billion (31 December 2007)

$10.32 billion (31 December 2006)



Agriculture - products:


vegetables, fruits, tobacco, wine, wheat, barley, sunflowers, sugar
beets; livestock



Industries:


electricity, gas, water; food, beverages, tobacco; machinery and
equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum,
nuclear fuel



Industrial production growth rate:


1.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115


Electricity - production:


40.25 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53


Electricity - consumption:


31.08 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57


Electricity - exports:


8.441 billion kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


3.097 billion kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


3,357 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99


Oil - consumption:


124,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71


Oil - exports:


76,570 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71


Oil - imports:


189,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53


Oil - proved reserves:


15 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83


Natural gas - production:


300 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72


Natural gas - consumption:


3.4 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 198


Natural gas - imports:


3.1 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41


Natural gas - proved reserves:


5.663 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88


Current account balance:


-$12.65 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
-$8.716 billion (2007 est.)



Exports:


$22.71 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
$18.58 billion (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels



Exports - partners:


Greece 9.9%, Germany 9.2%, Turkey 8.9%, Italy 8.5%, Romania 7.2%,
Belgium 5.9%, France 4.1% (2008)



Imports:


$35.64 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
$28.65 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics;
fuels, minerals, and raw materials



Imports - partners:


Russia 14.6%, Germany 11.8%, Italy 7.9%, Ukraine 7.3%, Romania 5.6%,
Turkey 5.5%, Greece 5.4%, Austria 4.1% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$17.93 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
$17.54 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$51.46 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
$42.62 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:


$42.91 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
$33.91 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:


$1.292 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
$559 million (31 December 2007 est.)



Exchange rates:


leva (BGN) per US dollar - 1.3171 (2008 est.), 1.4366 (2007), 1.5576
(2006), 1.5741 (2005), 1.5751 (2004)







Communications ::Bulgaria




Telephones - main lines in use:


2.258 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 55


Telephones - mobile cellular:


10.633 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 59


Telephone system:


general assessment: an extensive but antiquated telecommunications
network inherited from the Soviet era; quality has improved; the
Bulgaria Telecommunications Company's fixed-line monopoly terminated
in 2005 when alternative fixed-line operators were given access to
its network; a drop in fixed-line connections in recent years has
been more than offset by a sharp increase in mobile-cellular
telephone use fostered by multiple service providers; the number of
cellular telephone subscriptions now greatly exceeds the population

domestic: a fairly modern digital cable trunk line now connects
switching centers in most of the regions; the others are connected
by digital microwave radio relay

international: country code - 359; submarine cable provides
connectivity to Ukraine and Russia; a combination submarine cable
and land fiber-optic system provides connectivity to Italy, Albania,
and Macedonia; satellite earth stations - 3 (1 Intersputnik in the
Atlantic Ocean region, 2 Intelsat in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean
regions) (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 31, FM 63, shortwave 2 (2001)



Television broadcast stations:


39 (plus 1,242 repeaters) (2001)



Internet country code:


.bg



Internet hosts:


706,648 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 45


Internet users:


2.647 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 63






Transportation ::Bulgaria




Airports:


212 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 29


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 132

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 18

1,524 to 2,437 m: 15

under 914 m: 97 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 80

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 6

under 914 m: 73 (2009)



Heliports:


3 (2009)



Pipelines:


gas 2,926 km; oil 339 km; refined products 156 km (2008)



Railways:


total: 4,294 km
country comparison to the world: 38
standard gauge: 4,049 km 1.435-m gauge (2,880 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 245 km 0.760-m gauge (2008)



Roadways:


total: 40,231 km
country comparison to the world: 89
paved: 39,587 km (includes 331 km of expressways)

unpaved: 644 km (2005)



Waterways:


470 km (2008)
country comparison to the world: 83


Merchant marine:


total: 74
country comparison to the world: 59
by type: bulk carrier 37, cargo 14, chemical tanker 5, container 6,
liquefied gas 2, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll
off 4, specialized tanker 1

foreign-owned: 65 (Germany 63, Ireland 1, Russia 1)

registered in other countries: 31 (Comoros 2, Malta 5, Panama 3,
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 15, Slovakia 6) (2008)



Ports and terminals:


Burgas, Varna







Military ::Bulgaria




Military branches:


Bulgarian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Bulgarian Air
Forces (Bulgarski Voennovazdyshni Sily, BVVS) (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; as of May 2006,
67% of the Bulgarian Army comprised of professional soldiers;
conscription ended January 2008; Air Forces and Naval Forces became
fully professional at the end of 2006 (2008)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 1,701,979

females age 16-49: 1,691,092 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 1,351,312

females age 16-49: 1,381,017 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 38,263

female: 36,374 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


2.6% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64






Transnational Issues ::Bulgaria




Disputes - international:


none



Illicit drugs:


major European transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and,
to a lesser degree, South American cocaine for the European market;
limited producer of precursor chemicals; vulnerable to money
laundering because of corruption, organized crime; some money
laundering of drug-related proceeds through financial institutions
(2008)









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Burkina Faso  (Africa)

Introduction ::Burkina Faso




Background:


Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from
France in 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s
were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Current
President Blaise COMPAORE came to power in a 1987 military coup and
has won every election since then. Burkina Faso's high population
density and limited natural resources result in poor economic
prospects for the majority of its citizens. Recent unrest in Cote
d'Ivoire and northern Ghana has hindered the ability of several
hundred thousand seasonal Burkinabe farm workers to find employment
in neighboring countries. In January 2008, Burkina Faso assumed a
nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008-09 term.







Geography ::Burkina Faso




Location:


Western Africa, north of Ghana



Geographic coordinates:


13 00 N, 2 00 W



Map references:


Africa



Area:


total: 274,200 sq km
country comparison to the world: 74
land: 273,800 sq km

water: 400 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly larger than Colorado



Land boundaries:


total: 3,193 km

border countries: Benin 306 km, Cote d'Ivoire 584 km, Ghana 549 km,
Mali 1,000 km, Niger 628 km, Togo 126 km



Coastline:


0 km (landlocked)



Maritime claims:


none (landlocked)



Climate:


tropical; warm, dry winters; hot, wet summers



Terrain:


mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and
southeast



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Mouhoun (Black Volta) River 200 m

highest point: Tena Kourou 749 m



Natural resources:


manganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, phosphates,
pumice, salt



Land use:


arable land: 17.66%

permanent crops: 0.22%

other: 82.12% (2005)



Irrigated land:


250 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


17.5 cu km (2001)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 0.8 cu km/yr (13%/1%/86%)

per capita: 60 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


recurring droughts



Environment - current issues:


recent droughts and desertification severely affecting agricultural
activities, population distribution, and the economy; overgrazing;
soil degradation; deforestation



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law
of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection,
Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


landlocked savanna cut by the three principal rivers of the Black,
Red, and White Voltas







People ::Burkina Faso




Population:


15,746,232
country comparison to the world: 61
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the
effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower
life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of
population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July
2009 est.)



Age structure:


0-14 years: 46.2% (male 3,646,661/female 3,621,648)

15-64 years: 51.3% (male 4,025,917/female 4,054,865)

65 years and over: 2.5% (male 156,895/female 240,246) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 16.8 years

male: 16.6 years

female: 17 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


3.103% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11


Birth rate:


44.33 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6


Death rate:


13.3 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28


Net migration rate:


NA



Urbanization:


urban population: 20% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.65 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 84.49 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 15
male: 92.09 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 76.66 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 52.95 years
country comparison to the world: 199
male: 51.04 years

female: 54.91 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


6.28 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


1.6% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


130,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


9,200 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34


Major infectious diseases:


degree of risk: very high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne disease: malaria and yellow fever

water contact disease: schistosomiasis

respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis

animal contact disease: rabies

note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in
this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases
possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)



Nationality:


noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)

adjective: Burkinabe



Ethnic groups:


Mossi over 40%, other approximately 60% (includes Gurunsi, Senufo,
Lobi, Bobo, Mande, and Fulani)



Religions:


Muslim 50%, indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian (mainly Roman
Catholic) 10%



Languages:


French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic
family spoken by 90% of the population



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 21.8%

male: 29.4%

female: 15.2% (2003 est.)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 5 years

male: 5 years

female: 4 years (2006)



Education expenditures:


4.2% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 98






Government ::Burkina Faso




Country name:


conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Burkina Faso

local long form: none

local short form: Burkina Faso

former: Upper Volta, Republic of Upper Volta



Government type:


parliamentary republic



Capital:


name: Ouagadougou

geographic coordinates: 12 22 N, 1 31 W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)



Administrative divisions:


45 provinces; Bale, Bam, Banwa, Bazega, Bougouriba, Boulgou,
Boulkiemde, Comoe, Ganzourgou, Gnagna, Gourma, Houet, Ioba, Kadiogo,
Kenedougou, Komondjari, Kompienga, Kossi, Koulpelogo, Kouritenga,
Kourweogo, Leraba, Loroum, Mouhoun, Nahouri, Namentenga, Nayala,
Noumbiel, Oubritenga, Oudalan, Passore, Poni, Sanguie, Sanmatenga,
Seno, Sissili, Soum, Sourou, Tapoa, Tuy, Yagha, Yatenga, Ziro,
Zondoma, Zoundweogo



Independence:


5 August 1960 (from France)



National holiday:


Republic Day, 11 December (1958)



Constitution:


approved by referendum 2 June 1991; formally adopted 11 June 1991;
last amended January 2002



Legal system:


based on French civil law system and customary law; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: President Blaise COMPAORE (since 15 October 1987)

head of government: Prime Minister Tertius ZONGO (since 4 June 2007)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the
recommendation of the prime minister

elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term
(eligible for a second term); election last held 13 November 2005
(next to be held in 2010); in April 2000, the constitution was
amended reducing the presidential term from seven to five years,
enforceable as of 2005; prime minister appointed by the president
with the consent of the legislature

election results: Blaise COMPAORE reelected president; percent of
popular vote - Blaise COMPAORE 80.3%, Benewende Stanislas SANKARA
4.9%



Legislative branch:


unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (111 seats;
members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: National Assembly election last held 6 May 2007 (next to
be held in May 2012)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
CDP 73, ADF-RDA 14, UPR 5, UNIR-MS 4, CFD-B 3, UPS 2, PDP-PS 2, RDB
2, PDS 2, PAREN 1, PAI 1, RPC 1, UDPS 1



Judicial branch:


Supreme Court; Appeals Court



Political parties and leaders:


African Democratic Rally-Alliance for Democracy and Federation or
ADF-RDA [Gilbert OUEDRAOGO]; Citizen's Popular Rally or RPC [Antoine
QUARE]; Coalition of Democratic Forces of Burkina or CFD-B [Amadou
Diemdioda DICKO]; Congress for Democracy and Progress or CDP [Roch
Marc-Christian KABORE]; Democratic and Popular Rally or RDP [Nana
THIBAUT]; Movement for Tolerance and Progress or MTP [Nayabtigungou
Congo KABORE]; Party for African Independence or PAI [Soumane
TOURE]; Party for Democracy and Progress-Socialist Party or PDP-PS
[Ali LANKOANDE]; Party for Democracy and Socialism or PDS [Felix
SOUBEIGA]; Party for National Rebirth or PAREN [Jeanne TRAORE];
Rally for the Development of Burkina or RDB [Antoine KARGOUGOU];
Rally of Ecologists of Burkina Faso or RDEB [Ram OUEDRAGO];
Republican Party for Integration and Solidarity or PARIS; Union for
Democracy and Social Progress or UDPS [Fidele HIEN]; Union for
Rebirth - Sankarist Movement or UNIR-MS [Benewende STANISLAS]; Union
for the Republic or UPR [Toussaint Abel COULIBALY]; Union of
Sankarist Parties or UPS [Ernest Nongma OUEDRAOGO]



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Burkinabe General Confederation of Labor or CGTB [Tole SAGNON];
Burkinabe Movement for Human Rights or MBDHP [Chrysigone ZOUGMORE];
Group of 14 February [Benewende STANISLAS]; National Confederation
of Burkinabe Workers or CNTB [Laurent OUEDRAOGO]; National
Organization of Free Unions or ONSL [Paul KABORE]

other: watchdog/political action groups throughout the country in
both organizations and communities



International organization participation:


ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD,
ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF,
Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA,
MONUC, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO,
UNITAR, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCL, WCO,
WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador Paramanga Ernest YONLI

chancery: 2340 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 332-5577

FAX: [1] (202) 667-1882



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Samuel C.
LAEUCHLI

embassy: 602 Avenue Raoul Follereau, Koulouba, Secteur 4

mailing address: 01 B. P. 35, Ouagadougou 01; pouch mail - US
Department of State, 2440 Ouagadougou Place, Washington, DC
20521-2440

telephone: [226] 50-30-67-23

FAX: [226] 50-30-38-90



Flag description:


two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a yellow
five-pointed star in the center

note: uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia







Economy ::Burkina Faso




Economy - overview:


One of the poorest countries in the world, landlocked Burkina Faso
has few natural resources and a weak industrial base. About 90% of
the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture, which is
vulnerable to periodic drought. Cotton is the main cash crop and the
government has joined with three other cotton producing countries in
the region - Mali, Niger, and Chad - to lobby in the World Trade
Organization for fewer subsidies to producers in other competing
countries. Since 1998, Burkina Faso has embarked upon a gradual but
successful privatization of state-owned enterprises. Having revised
its investment code in 2004, Burkina Faso hopes to attract foreign
investors. Thanks to this new code and other legislation favoring
the mining sector, the country has seen an upswing in gold
exploration and production. While the bitter internal crisis in
neighboring Cote d'Ivoire is beginning to be resolved, it is still
having a negative effect on Burkina Faso's trade and employment.
Burkina Faso received a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)
threshold grant to improve girls' education at the primary school
level, and signed an MCC compact that focuses on the areas of
infrastructure, agriculture, and land reform in July 2008.



GDP (purchasing power parity):


$17.96 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128
$17.11 billion (2007 est.)

$16.5 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP (official exchange rate):


$8.116 billion (2008 est.)



GDP - real growth rate:


5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
3.7% (2007 est.)

5.5% (2006 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$1,200 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207
$1,200 (2007 est.)

$1,200 (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars



GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 29.1%

industry: 19.9%

services: 51% (2008 est.)



Labor force:


6.668 million
country comparison to the world: 64
note: a large part of the male labor force migrates annually to
neighboring countries for seasonal employment (2007)



Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 90%

industry and services: 10% (2000 est.)



Unemployment rate:


77% (2004)
country comparison to the world: 197


Population below poverty line:


46.4% (2004)



Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 32.2% (2004)



Distribution of family income - Gini index:


39.5 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 64
48.2 (1994)



Investment (gross fixed):


19.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115


Budget:


revenues: $1.409 billion

expenditures: $1.786 billion (2008 est.)



Inflation rate (consumer prices):


10.7% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
-0.2% (2007 est.)



Central bank discount rate:


4.75% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 117
4.25% (31 December 2007)



Commercial bank prime lending rate:


NA



Stock of money:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$1.051 billion (31 December 2007)



Stock of quasi money:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$663 million (31 December 2007)



Stock of domestic credit:


$NA (31 December 2008)

$905.1 million (31 December 2007)



Market value of publicly traded shares:


$NA



Agriculture - products:


cotton, peanuts, shea nuts, sesame, sorghum, millet, corn, rice;
livestock



Industries:


cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes,
textiles, gold



Industrial production growth rate:


4.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58


Electricity - production:


611.6 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156


Electricity - consumption:


568.8 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159


Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Electricity - imports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)



Oil - production:


0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126


Oil - consumption:


9,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152


Oil - exports:


0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159


Oil - imports:


8,283 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144


Oil - proved reserves:


0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121


Natural gas - production:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119


Natural gas - consumption:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126


Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 96


Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120


Natural gas - proved reserves:


0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126


Current account balance:


-$931 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
-$564 million (2007 est.)



Exports:


$544 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
$618 million (2007 est.)



Exports - commodities:


cotton, livestock, gold



Exports - partners:


Singapore 17%, Belgium 12.9%, China 11.3%, Thailand 9.1%, Ghana 7%,
Niger 5.2%, Denmark 4.9% (2008)



Imports:


$1.343 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
$1.221 billion (2007 est.)



Imports - commodities:


capital goods, foodstuffs, petroleum



Imports - partners:


Cote d'Ivoire 26.7%, France 18.4%, Togo 7.4%, Libya 4.2% (2008)



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$926.3 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
$1.029 billion (31 December 2007 est.)



Debt - external:


$1.665 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
$1.33 billion (2007)



Exchange rates:


Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 447.81
(2008 est.), 493.51 (2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29
(2004)

note: since 1 January 1999, the West African CFA franc (XOF) has
been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 CFA francs per euro;
West African CFA franc (XOF) coins and banknotes are not accepted in
countries using Central African CFA francs (XAF), and vice versa,
even though the two currencies trade at par







Communications ::Burkina Faso




Telephones - main lines in use:


144,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 133


Telephones - mobile cellular:


2.553 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 114


Telephone system:


general assessment: services only fair; in 2006 the government sold
a 51 percent stake in the national telephone company and ultimately
plans to retain only a 23 percent stake in the company; fixed-line
connections stand at less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular
usage, fostered by multiple providers, is increasing rapidly from a
low base

domestic: microwave radio relay, open-wire, and radiotelephone
communication stations

international: country code - 226; satellite earth station - 1
Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2008)



Radio broadcast stations:


AM 2, FM 26, shortwave 3 (2007)



Television broadcast stations:


3 (1 national, 2 private)



Internet country code:


.bf



Internet hosts:


1,951 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 150


Internet users:


140,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 143






Transportation ::Burkina Faso




Airports:


26 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 127


Airports - with paved runways:


total: 2

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2009)



Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 24

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 13

under 914 m: 7 (2009)



Railways:


total: 622 km
country comparison to the world: 109
narrow gauge: 622 km 1.000-m gauge

note: another 660 km of this railway extends into Cote d'Ivoire
(2008)



Roadways:


total: 92,495 km
country comparison to the world: 51
paved: 3,857 km

unpaved: 88,638 km (2004)







Military ::Burkina Faso




Military branches:


Army, Air Force of Burkina Faso (Force Aerienne de Burkina Faso,
FABF), National Gendarmerie (2009)



Military service age and obligation:


18 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in
supporting roles (2009)



Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 3,364,288 (2008 est.)



Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 2,197,557

females age 16-49: 2,191,978 (2009 est.)



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 182,540

female: 180,051 (2009 est.)



Military expenditures:


1.2% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 129






Transnational Issues ::Burkina Faso




Disputes - international:


in September 2007, Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) intervened to attempt to resolve the dispute over two
villages along the Benin-Burkina Faso border that remain from a 2005
ICJ decision; in recent years citizens and rogue security forces rob
and harass local populations on both sides of the poorly defined
Burkina Faso-Niger border; despite the presence of more than 9,000
UN forces (UNOCI) in Cote d'Ivoire since 2004, ethnic conflict
continues to spread into neighboring states who can no longer send
their migrant workers to work in Ivorian cocoa plantations









page last updated on November 11, 2009

======================================================================




@Burma  (East & Southeast Asia)

Introduction ::Burma




Background:


Britain conquered Burma over a period of 62 years (1824-1886) and
incorporated it into its Indian Empire. Burma was administered as a
province of India until 1937 when it became a separate,
self-governing colony; independence from the Commonwealth was
attained in 1948. Gen. NE WIN dominated the government from 1962 to
1988, first as military ruler, then as self-appointed president, and
later as political kingpin. In September 1988, the military deposed
NE WIN and established a new ruling junta. Despite multiparty
legislative elections in 1990 that resulted in the main opposition
party - the National League for Democracy (NLD) - winning a
landslide victory, the junta refused to hand over power. NLD leader
and Nobel Peace Prize recipient AUNG SAN SUU KYI, who was under
house arrest from 1989 to 1995 and 2000 to 2002, was imprisoned in
May 2003 and subsequently transferred to house arrest. After the
ruling junta in August 2007 unexpectedly increased fuel prices, tens
of thousands of Burmese marched in protest, led by prodemocracy
activists and Buddhist monks. In late September 2007, the government
brutally suppressed the protests, killing at least 13 people and
arresting thousands for participating in the demonstrations. Since
then, the regime has continued to raid homes and monasteries and
arrest persons suspected of participating in the pro-democracy
protests. The junta appointed Labor Minister AUNG KYI in October
2007 as liaison to AUNG SAN SUU KYI, who remains under house arrest
and virtually incommunicado with her party and supporters. Burma in
early May 2008 was struck by Cyclone Nargis which official estimates
claimed left over 80,000 dead and 50,000 injured. Despite this
tragedy, the junta proceeded with its May constitutional referendum,
the first vote in Burma since 1990, setting the stage for the 2010
parliamentary elections.







Geography ::Burma




Location:


Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal,
between Bangladesh and Thailand



Geographic coordinates:


22 00 N, 98 00 E



Map references:


Southeast Asia



Area:


total: 676,578 sq km
country comparison to the world: 40
land: 653,508 sq km

water: 23,070 sq km



Area - comparative:


slightly smaller than Texas



Land boundaries:


total: 5,876 km

border countries: Bangladesh 193 km, China 2,185 km, India 1,463 km,
Laos 235 km, Thailand 1,800 km



Coastline:


1,930 km



Maritime claims:


territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin



Climate:


tropical monsoon; cloudy, rainy, hot, humid summers (southwest
monsoon, June to September); less cloudy, scant rainfall, mild
temperatures, lower humidity during winter (northeast monsoon,
December to April)



Terrain:


central lowlands ringed by steep, rugged highlands



Elevation extremes:


lowest point: Andaman Sea 0 m

highest point: Hkakabo Razi 5,881 m



Natural resources:


petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead,
coal, marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower



Land use:


arable land: 14.92%

permanent crops: 1.31%

other: 83.77% (2005)



Irrigated land:


18,700 sq km (2003)



Total renewable water resources:


1,045.6 cu km (1999)



Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 33.23 cu km/yr (1%/1%/98%)

per capita: 658 cu m/yr (2000)



Natural hazards:


destructive earthquakes and cyclones; flooding and landslides common
during rainy season (June to September); periodic droughts



Environment - current issues:


deforestation; industrial pollution of air, soil, and water;
inadequate sanitation and water treatment contribute to disease



Environment - international agreements:


party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone
Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical
Timber 94

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements



Geography - note:


strategic location near major Indian Ocean shipping lanes







People ::Burma




Population:


48,137,741
country comparison to the world: 26
note: estimates for this country take into account the effects of
excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life
expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of
population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July
2009 est.)



Age structure:


0-14 years: 25.3% (male 6,193,263/female 5,990,658)

15-64 years: 69.3% (male 16,510,648/female 16,828,462)

65 years and over: 5.4% (male 1,121,412/female 1,493,298) (2009 est.)



Median age:


total: 28.2 years

male: 27.7 years

female: 28.8 years (2009 est.)



Population growth rate:


0.783% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139


Birth rate:


16.97 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123


Death rate:


9.14 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83


Net migration rate:


NA



Urbanization:


urban population: 33% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)



Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2009 est.)



Infant mortality rate:


total: 47.61 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 53
male: 53.78 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 41.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)



Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 63.39 years
country comparison to the world: 172
male: 61.17 years

female: 65.74 years (2009 est.)



Total fertility rate:


1.89 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


0.7% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


240,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


25,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18


Major infectious diseases:


degree of risk: very high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

water contact disease: leptospirosis

animal contact disease: rabies

note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in
this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases
possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)



Nationality:


noun: Burmese (singular and plural)

adjective: Burmese



Ethnic groups:


Burman 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Indian 2%,
Mon 2%, other 5%



Religions:


Buddhist 89%, Christian 4% (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Muslim
4%, animist 1%, other 2%



Languages:


Burmese, minority ethnic groups have their own languages



Literacy:


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 89.9%

male: 93.9%

female: 86.4% (2006 est.)



School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 8 years

male: 8 years

female: 8 years (2001)



Education expenditures:


1.2% of GDP (2001)
country comparison to the world: 178






Government ::Burma




Country name:


conventional long form: Union of Burma

conventional short form: Burma

local long form: Pyidaungzu Myanma Naingngandaw (translated by the
US Government as Union of Myanma and by the Burmese as Union of
Myanmar)

local short form: Myanma Naingngandaw

former: Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma

note: since 1989 the military authorities in Burma have promoted the
name Myanmar as a conventional name for their state; this decision
was not approved by any sitting legislature in Burma, and the US
Government did not adopt the name, which is a derivative of the
Burmese short-form name Myanma Naingngandaw



Government type:


military junta



Capital:


name: Rangoon (Yangon)

geographic coordinates: 16 48 N, 96 09 E

time difference: UTC+6.5 (11.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)

note: Nay Pyi Taw is administrative capital



Administrative divisions:


7 divisions (taing-myar, singular - taing) and 7 states* (pyi
ne-myar, singular - pyi ne)

divisions: Ayeyarwady, Bago, Magway, Mandalay, Sagaing, Tanintharyi,
Yangon

states: Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine, Shan



Independence:


4 January 1948 (from the UK)



National holiday:


Independence Day, 4 January (1948); Union Day, 12 February (1947)



Constitution:


3 January 1974; suspended since 18 September 1988; a new
constitution was approved on 10 May 2008; note - new constitution
will take effect when a new parliament is convened following
elections scheduled for 2010



Legal system:


based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction



Suffrage:


18 years of age; universal



Executive branch:


chief of state: Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council
(SPDC) Sr. Gen. THAN SHWE (since 23 April 1992)

head of government: Prime Minister, Lt. Gen THEIN SEIN (since 24
October 2007)

cabinet: Cabinet is overseen by SPDC; military junta assumed power
18 September 1988 under name State Law and Order Restoration Council
(SLORC)

elections: none



Legislative branch:


a unicameral People's Assembly or Pyithu Hluttaw consisting of 485
seats with members elected by popular vote was elected in 1990 but
was never seated; according to the terms of the constitution
approved on 10 May 2008, a bicameral Pyidaungsu Hluttaw consisting
of an upper house with a maximum of 224 seats and a lower house with
a maximum of 440 seats will be selected in elections in 2010

elections: last held 27 May 1990, but Assembly never allowed by
junta to convene (junta has announced plans to hold elections in
2010)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
NLD 392 (opposition), SNLD 23 (opposition), NUP 10 (pro-government),
other 60



Judicial branch:


remnants of the British-era legal system are in place, but there is
no guarantee of a fair public trial; the judiciary is not
independent of the executive



Political parties and leaders:


National League for Democracy or NLD [AUNG SHWE, AUNG SAN SUU KYI];
National Unity Party or NUP (pro-regime) [TUN YE]; Shan
Nationalities League for Democracy or SNLD [HKUN HTUN OO]; and
numerous other smaller parties



Political pressure groups and leaders:


Ethnic Nationalities Council or ENC (based in Thailand); Federation
of Trade Unions-Burma or FTUB (exile trade union and labor
advocates); National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma or
NCGUB (self-proclaimed government in exile) ["Prime Minister" Dr.
SEIN WIN] consists of individuals, some legitimately elected to the
People's Assembly in 1990 (the group fled to a border area and
joined insurgents in December 1990 to form parallel government in
exile); Kachin Independence Organization or KIO; Karen National
Union or KNU; Karenni National People's Party or KNPP; National
Council-Union of Burma or NCUB (exile coalition of opposition
groups); United Wa State Army or UWSA; Union Solidarity and
Development Association or USDA (pro-regime, a social and political
mass-member organization) [HTAY OO, general secretary]; 88
Generation Students (pro-democracy movement) [TOE KYAW HLAING]

other: several Shan factions



International organization participation:


ADB, APT, ARF, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO,
ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO
(correspondent), ITU, NAM, OPCW (signatory), SAARC (observer), UN,
UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO



Diplomatic representation in the US:


chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires MYINT LWIN

chancery: 2300 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 332-3344

FAX: [1] (202) 332-4351

consulate(s) general: New York



Diplomatic representation from the US:


chief of mission: Charge d'Affaires Larry M. DINGER - note: The
United States does not maintain an ambassador in Burma

embassy: 110 University Avenue, Kamayut Township, Rangoon

mailing address: Box B, APO AP 96546

telephone: [95] (1) 536-509, 535-756, 538-038

FAX: [95] (1) 650-306



Flag description:


red with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 14,
white, five-pointed stars encircling a cogwheel containing a stalk
of rice; the 14 stars represent the seven administrative divisions
and seven states







Economy ::Burma




Economy - overview:


Burma, a resource-rich country, suffers from pervasive government
controls, inefficient economic policies, and rural poverty. Despite
Burma's increasing oil and gas revenue, socio-economic conditions
have deteriorated because of the regime's mismanagement of the
economy. The economy suffers from serious macroeconomic imbalances -
including rising inflation, fiscal deficits, multiple official
exchange rates that overvalue the Burmese kyat, a distorted interest
rate regime, unreliable statistics, and an inability to reconcile
national accounts to determine a realistic GDP figure. Most overseas
development assistance ceased after the junta began to suppress the
democracy movement in 1988 and subsequently refused to honor the
results of the 1990 legislative elections. In response to the
government of Burma's attack in May 2003 on AUNG SAN SUU KYI and her
convoy, the US imposed new economic sanctions in August 2003
including a ban on imports of Burmese products and a ban on
provision of financial services by US persons. Further, a poor
investment climate hampers the inflow of foreign investment. Foreign
investors have shied away from nearly every sector except for
natural gas and power generation. The business climate is widely
perceived as opaque, corrupt, and highly inefficient. The most
productive sectors will continue to be in extractive industries -
especially oil and gas, mining, and timber - with the latter causing
significant environmental degradation. Other areas, such as
manufacturing and services, are struggling with inadequate
infrastructure, unpredictable import/export policies, deteriorating
health and education systems, and endemic corruption. A major
banking crisis in 2003 shuttered 20 private banks and disrupted the
economy. As of 2008, the largest private banks operated under tight
restrictions, limiting the private sector's access to formal credit.
The September 2007 crackdown on prodemocracy demonstrators,
including thousands of monks, strained the economy as the tourism
industry, which directly employs about 500,000 people, suffered
dramatic declines in foreign visitor levels. In November 2007, the
European Union announced new sanctions banning investment and trade
in Burmese gems, timber, and precious stones, while the United
States expanded its sanctions list to include more Burmese
government and military officials and their family members, as well
as prominent regime business cronies, their family members, and
associated companies. Official statistics are inaccurate. In July
2008 the President signed into law the Tom LANTOS JADE (Junta's
Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008, imposing new targeted
sanctions on the regime. Published statistics on foreign trade are
greatly understated because of the size of the black market and
unofficial border trade - often estimated t